Across the country, rapid home-price growth and low inventories of affordable housing have been making it harder for prospective homebuyers, especially millennials. In a Bankrate survey, nearly half of millennials have identified the cost of living as one of the biggest barriers to buying a home compared with other generations.
Overall, 45% of millennials (ages 23 to 38) pointed to cost of living as holding them back from buying a home, compared with just 38% of Gen Xers (ages 39 to 54) and 31% of baby boomers (ages 55 to 73).
Student loan debt, which is now at $1.6 trillion, also disproportionately stands in millennials’ way, with 23% citing it as a roadblock, compared with just 15% of Gen Xers and 5% of baby boomers who want to buy a home.
According to the survey, younger homebuyers may feel the deck is stacked against them financially, as they’re using multiple avenues to fund the down payment and closing costs for their first home.
Additionally, millennials are actively saving more of their money toward a down payment and closing costs than other generations, 33% of millennial homeowners say they used a down payment assistance program or grant, compared with 27% of Gen Xers.
Other key findings from the nationwide survey:
- Millennials are most likely to save their own down payment money (53% do so compared with 47% of Gen Xers and 45% of baby boomers).
- On average, millennial homeowners needed three full years to save for their down payment, while Gen Xers needed two years and nine months and baby boomers needed two years and six months.
- Just over half (51%) of all U.S. adults didn’t know the minimum down payment required to buy a home.