An entire generation of homeowners precedes us and likewise a generation before them – men and women who believed in family and felt that buying a home complete with a front lawn, flower garden and a white picket fence represented the American Dream. A recent National Housing Pulse Survey discovered that today’s 21st century millennials hold fast to the same basic mindset concerning homeownership as their parents and grandparents. What’s more, despite an economic reality that is more focused on paying off massive student loans and college debt, today’s young adults still think that now is as good a time as any to purchase a home.
Good news for Realtors
The survey results bear out a positive message for realtors who are able to use the data to track concerns and home-ownership issues among consumers in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Among the more significant findings:
- More than eight in 10 Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision
- Fully 68% of those surveyed believe that now is a good time to buy a home
- 71% percent believe they could sell their house for what they paid for it, a jump of 16 percentage points from 2013
National Association of Realtors President Chris Polychron echoes those sentiments and feels that homeownership is indeed a part of the American fabric. “This survey proves that [the American] dream is alive and thriving in our communities.”
Polychron, who also serves as Executive Broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas remarked further that, “…anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream in a safe, responsible way, which is why NAR advocates homeownership issues and educating potential buyers about achieving their property investment goals.”
Dark clouds still overhead
Although the NHP survey offers encouraging news to realtors across the United States, it can’t mask the fact that the majority of first-time potential homeowners carry a heavy financial burden on their shoulders. In fact, the 2015 survey underscores several perceived obstacles to owning a home:
- 78% of survey participants look at college debt and student loans as the main obstacle in making a home purchase affordable
- 76% of participants said they have a full-time job but still don’t earn enough money to purchase a home
- 74% believe they do not have enough money for a down payment and closing costs
The silver lining
Far from presenting a message of doom and gloom, the NAP data reveals that Millennials tend to have a more upbeat and positive view about the future of the nation.
An estimated 42 percent of Millennials feel that the country is headed in the right direction compared to only 20 percent among those aged 50 and older.
**The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey polled 1,000 adults nationwide in the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. An additional 250 interviews were conducted with millennial adults (born after 1981) from the same geography. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.