The news media has got it all wrong.

Millennials don’t want to own houses. Millennials can’t afford to purchase homes. Millennials prefer renting to buying. These statements are inaccurate generalizations. In fact, adults aged 22 to 34 may be more eager to own homes than older Americans.

Nearly half of Zillow survey participants aged 18 to 34 said they believe “owning a home is necessary to being a respected member of society.” A whopping 65 percent said owning a home is necessary to “live ‘The Good Life’ and ‘The American Dream.’” The millennials who agreed with these statements significantly outnumbered Baby Boomers or Gen Xers.

The Data

There are approximately 75 million American millennials*. This generation represents about a fourth of the U.S. population, as well as $200 billion in annual buying power, according to Forbes.

Luckily for your industry, two groups of millennials are experiencing historically high homeownership rates, per research by Zillow:

  • Married couples where both spouses are employed full time
  • Single young adults with full-time jobs

With many millennials working part-time or not at all and delaying marriage, it’s no wonder that overall trends of millennial home buying can look dismal. But when millennials are broken into groups relative to lifestyle factors like marriage and employment, it’s clear to see that some segments of millennials are buying homes at record rates.

Millennials Marrying Later

The median age of marriage in America went from 23 for men and 20 for women in 1960 to 29 for men and 26 for women in 2011 – a six year increase for both sexes. Because millennials are delaying marriage, they are also delaying home ownership.

Again, it is not that millennials don’t want to buy homes; for many, it’s just not possible to scrape together a down payment without two incomes.

The good news? If millennials were marrying at the same pace as previous generations, their rate of home ownership would be on par with the 1990s, according to Time. Zillow’s evidence suggests that once millennials begin to head down the aisle, their homeownership will increase to match other generations’.

Get that Millennial Business

With 75 million millennials ready to buy, thinking about buying, or coming of age, you should be formulating your business plan to capture that audience.

We hate to tell you, but what you have done to market to other generations won’t work with most millennials. The majority of the millennial generation has never known a world without the Internet – that alone completely alters how they are marketed to.

Don’t worry, we have compiled a library of information that we’ll share to help you corner than millennial market. Check back every week for our Millennial Monday posts to learn more about who millennials are and about tactics for engaging them as customers.


*For the purpose of our Millennial Monday articles, we use the term millennials to refer to people aged 18 to 34.