- Millennials represent 43 percent of homebuyers, the highest share of any generation, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). One-quarter of that group are older millennials aged 32 to 41, while 18 percent are younger millennials aged 23 to 31.
- Eighty-one percent of younger millennial homebuyers purchased for the first time, compared to 48 percent of older millennial buyers, according to NAR.
- The median home price for younger millennials was $250,000, according to NAR.
- Among unmarried homebuyers, the majority (21 percent) were younger millennials, according to NAR.
- The best cities for first-time homebuyers in 2022 are Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Buffalo, according to a Bankrate report.
- As of 2019, there were 72.1 million millennials in the U.S., Census reporting shows.
Learn more: 2022 first-time homebuyer statistics
Millennials in a changing housing market
Millennials are typically defined as those born sometime between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. Their entry into the real estate market has looked different than that of older generations. Generally, millennials are buying their first homes later than their baby boomer parents. There are a number of reasons behind that delay, but high student loan debt loads and the lingering effects of career stagnation caused by the Great Recession are some of the most commonly cited reasons.
Moreover, saving money continues to prove challenging. Twenty-seven percent of younger millennials say saving for a down payment is the “most difficult step” of the homebuying process, according to NAR, with 25 percent relying on a gift from family or friends to help with their purchase.
As the housing market shifts toward more balanced conditions between homebuyers and sellers, millennials are still facing the challenge of saving, along with higher mortgage rates and inflation. Among millennial non-homeowners surveyed by Bankrate earlier this year, 44 percent cited too-high home prices as their reason for continuing to rent.
In addition to being held back by financial considerations, many millennials are in a general pattern of reaching life milestones later. The average age for getting married has been rising, for example. In 2020, the median age for a man’s first marriage was above 30 for the first time in history, according to Census estimates, while the median age of a first-time bride was above 28, also for the first time. Subsequently, millennials are starting their families later.
How millennials use technology for homebuying
Whether it’s browsing real estate listings online or applying for their mortgage through an app, millennials are more likely than previous generations to take advantage of tech innovations in the real estate sphere. With listings snapped up quickly, app notifications allow them to check out property details and schedule showings within minutes. Comparable to other generations, virtually all millennial homebuyers (99 percent, according to NAR) use the internet at some stage in the homebuying process. However, millennials rely on mobile devices much more so than the Silent Generation.
Tips for millennial homebuyers
If you’re looking to buy a home, there are a few key bits of advice to keep in mind:
- Work with a real estate agent. Although the housing market is showing signs of cooling, now’s not the time to embark on a purchase without someone to guide you through the process. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, it’s even more important to have someone who understands your needs, concerns and stresses.
- Shop around with multiple mortgage lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal. It’s not just about interest rates, but the all-in costs and other terms and conditions on your loan.
- Make a budget and stick to it. You don’t want to wind up with more house than you can afford. Keep that budget going once you move, too. In a separate Bankrate survey, the top regret for millennial homebuyers was unexpected maintenance costs. You’ll want to be ready to cover whatever issues inevitably crop up.