Apr 18, 2023 - News

Cleveland millennials opt for renting over buying

Illustration of two people looking up at a giant white picket fence

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More Cleveland millennials are buying homes, but ownership still lags behind the generation's number of renters.

Driving the news: More than half (52%) of millennials nationwide (people born from 1981 to 1996) owned a home in 2022, marking the first time millennial homeowners have outnumbered millennial renters, according to a new RentCafe report.

By the numbers: The number of millennial homeowners in Cleveland increased by 37% from 2017 to 2022.

  • However, just 35% of millennials owned a home in 2022, compared with 65% who were renters.

Zoom out: Cleveland ranked last among major Ohio cities in the percentage of millennials who owned homes in 2022, behind Youngstown (74%), Akron (67%), Toledo (56%), Columbus (51%), Cincinnati (49%) and Dayton (48%).

The big picture: Among the country's 110 largest cities, Cleveland had the 11th-highest percentage of millennials who were renters in 2022.

  • The percentage of millennials who rent in Cleveland (65%) is comparable to much larger and more expensive cities, including New York (66%), Los Angeles (69%) and San Diego (68%).

Between the lines: The low percentage of millennial ownership in Cleveland could be due to high mortgage rates and local home values increasing by more than 110% over the last five years, according to Zillow.

  • Cleveland's median household income has increased by just 21% since 2017, according to Census Bureau figures.

💭 My thought bubble: My wife and I bought our home six years ago, when interest rates were more favorable.

  • If we were looking during the pandemic or even now, when there's talk of a recession, we'd probably still be renting.
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