Behavior & Culture

I Can Afford To Buy, I Choose To Rent

October 27, 2016

Has the behavior and ideals of millennials caused the housing market crisis they now face in becoming home owners?

Last year, I took a deep dive into the home buying and renting patterns of millennials. In that research, I found that decision to rent versus buy a home came down to lifestyle choices and general market perceptions. This week, Zillow released a comprehensive look at the markets where 20-30% of residents still choose to rent over purchasing a home. In cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco, Zillow’s research showed that younger buyers with fantastic credit scores still don’t purchase mainly do to their current financial situations.

A key trend that seems to have grown since my initial research is the perception that down payment requirements are unwise investments by younger buyers because they would be shouldering new, larger financial burdens (that they are not ready to take on due to other debts). What is most interesting in the data is the compound effect of these behaviors have had on the current market –– our younger generation’s desires for financial and lifestyle freedoms, coupled with continual market distrust, has caused the very scenario they now face as a result of previous market avoidance.