Missing the millennial mark


MillennialsBy Hanley Wood Data Studio | Builder

The American dream of buying a home is alive and well for millennials, but the generation of 18-36 year-olds must overcome hurdles to home ownership that older cohorts didn’t face when buying their first home. The challenges of home ownership for older segments of Gen Y are rooted in economic circumstance, but are bolstered by the cultural influence of consumerism they witnessed during their formative years.

Leading up to the recession, mortgage lending institutions were in their heyday—looser lending conditions allowed Americans to borrow to buy homes, while using the equity in their homes as a piggy bank for other spending. As home prices continued to appreciate (with no end in sight), more people saw value in buying bigger homes, second homes, or making major renovations. This period gave birth to McMansions, in their ostentatious glory, which have since become a somber symbol of frivolity and living beyond one’s means. Millennial’s front row seat to pre-recession consumerism, as well as its fallout, creates a complex tug of war between the preferences they have for their first home, and the reality of what is affordable.


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