Millennials Conquer the American Dream of Homeownership


It’s no secret that millennials have met their fair share of challenges on their path to homeownership. What are the key economic events impacting them and what does the future hold for this ambitious collective? LaVaughn M. Henry, PhD, CBE, FDIC Banking and Regulatory Policy Analyst, takes a look in his paper, “Responding to a Challenge: The Millennial Generation and Homeownership,” in Vol. 6 of the Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies. Keep reading for an overview of his findings.

For the “Millennial Generation,” persons the U.S. Census estimates were born between 1981 and 2000, “homeownership” is no longer just a 13-letter word that conjures up the uneasy desire to live with your parents and thwart financial responsibility indefinitely. The millennials are here, and it’s time to understand their history in the housing market. After all, they do account for over one-third of the entire homebuyer population.

Making their housing debut amid the backdrop of intense national insecurity and multiple financial and housing crises was no easy feat for millennials. Significant income and net worth declines forced the deferment of homeownership, and only recently have millennials been able to get a foot in the door. However, Henry’s research shows that this proverbial foot is wearing an awfully uncomfortable shoe.

In 2017, millennials finally saw their first annual increase in homeownership rates in 13 years. But beyond the guise of improving rates, there are still many obstacles to climb in order for this generation to make their housing dreams a reality. The most notable challenges remain in considerable affordability issues, immense student debt, and continuing income troubles.

Check out Henry’s data below and read his full article (on page 15) to understand where millennials fit into the big picture of homeownership and see their growing optimism in the face of financial adversity.

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