How much do you really know about millennials? Some words that have been used to describe them include ‘entitled,’ ‘idealistic,’ and ‘more focused on themselves than previous generations.’
While those descriptions can certainly be debated, one characteristic that has been widely discussed in the mortgage industry is that millennials would rather rent than own.
But a new survey is turning that thinking on its head. According to Urban Land Institute, 26 percent of millennials own homes, and 70 percent of millennials who don’t own a home expect to buy one in the next five years. Millennials see homeownership as a viable path for bringing wealth and stability into their lives, and they represent a tremendous opportunity for the mortgage industry.
Regardless of what you thought about millennials, the truth is:
They are willing to save. Most of the millennials surveyed who expect to buy a home say they plan to do so by saving their money for a down payment. Many are willing to sacrifice in order to save, with 21 percent currently living with their parents to keep expenses down and another 18 percent with a roommate.
They are a powerful customer base. Millennials make up the largest generation in American history, even surpassing the Baby Boomers. Their sheer numbers alone give them remarkable buying power that, when harnessed, can transform not only the mortgage industry but the economy.
They will be customers for life. Millennials are between the ages of 19 and 36. Many are just beginning their careers and starting families and they have a lifetime of financial purchases ahead of them. While they may be looking to buy their first homes today, they will be in the market for vacation properties, business loans, and retirement accounts tomorrow.
To meet the needs of millennials, we must provide the financial education they need to not only buy their first homes, but to keep those homes and continue to create a financially rewarding future.
The truth about millennials is they represent the future of the mortgage industry.
Ensuring their success is in all of our best interests.