Apr 7, 2023 - Economy

Millennial homeowners outnumber renters for the first time

Data: RentCafe.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Millennial homeowners outnumbered millennial renters for the first time last year, despite creeping interest rates and a tight real estate market.

Driving the news: Nearly 52% of the first generation to grow up in the Internet age ​​— people born from 1981 to 1996 — were homeowners in 2022, making the largest ownership gains of any generation in the last five years, according to a new RentCafe report.

By the numbers: The number of millennial homeowners increased by 7.1 million between 2017 and 2022 to 18.2 million, a 64% increase.

  • There are still 17.2 million millennial renters, which is still considered the dominant renter generation, RentCafe found.
  • The average millennial bought their first home at 34, slightly older than the average age of past generations, when boomers took the keys at 33 and Gen X at 32.

Yes, but: Older generations still own more homes than millennials.

  • Baby boomers, who were born 1946 to 1964, own about 32.1 million homes as of 2022, but lost 354,000 homeowners in the last five years.
  • Gen X, born from 1965 to 1980, own 24.4 million homes, an increase of 1.9 million.

No surprise but Gen Z, born 1997 to 2013, has the smallest number of homeowners with about 2 million, up 1.6 million in five years.

  • Some members of this cohort are not even teenagers with the youngest being 10.
  • Gen Z gained nearly 4.5 million renters in the last five years.

The study used data from IPUMS, part of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota, and census data.

Where millennials are buying

RentCafe, which is a nationwide apartment search website, analyzed the number of owner and renter households for each generation across 260 U.S. metro areas.

  • Richmond, Virginia had the largest gain with the number of millennial owners tripling in the last five years. Millennial renters increased by 3%.
  • Atlanta had a 128.7% increase in millennial owners and a 30.6% drop in renters in the five years.
  • Austin, Texas saw a 112% increase in millennial owners and a 6.3% increase in renters. It saw a 38.5% drop in Gen X renters.

Be smart: Home prices have been on the decline with prices falling in January for the seventh consecutive month, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data, Axios’ Nathan Bomey reports.

  • But prices were still up 3.8% from a year earlier, led by gains in cities like Miami, Tampa and Atlanta.

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