Millennials value homeownership but believe that it might take longer before they buy a home, according to a California Association of Realtors survey.
The majority of millennials surveyed – 54 percent – gave homeownership an importance rating of 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10. Half of those surveyed noted that they expect to purchase a home in the next five years. The biggest advantages they cited in homeownership are the freedom to do what they want with the property, privacy and the satisfaction of ownership.
The association conducted its 2014 California Millennial Survey online in August and polled 1,000 California residents ages 18-34.
“Millennials do see homeownership as an important objective,” said David Tonna, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “They may delay it for a few years, but it’s a fact of life that most of the young adults today will settle down and have families and will want a home of their own.”
More than half of those surveyed – 59 percent – said the housing crisis didn’t affect their attitude toward homeownership being a good investment. Fifty-nine percent said they expect that home prices will rise in a year, and 63 percent believe that home prices will be higher in five years.
The majority of millennial renters – 76 percent – said they can’t afford to buy a home at this time. Although finances are cited as the greatest obstacle to homeownership, student debt didn’t appear to be a big worry. Overall, one in two millennial renters surveyed had student debt but doesn’t feel that it prevented him or her from qualifying for a mortgage.
More than one-third – 36 percent – said they would be motivated by affordable home prices to buy now. Sixteen percent claimed that they would be motivated by having the down payment required to purchase, while 15 percent cited an improvement in their finances as buying motivation.
Most surveyed millennials also cited a preference for single-family homes on large lots in the suburbs over urban living with a high walkability factor. Two out of three indicated that they plan to purchase a single-family detached home, while only 12 percent said they plan to purchase a townhome or condominium.