More Opportunities and Expectations for Housing Millennials and First Time Buyers

Nationally, first time homebuyers increased to 34 percent of the market share in September. A lot of this is attributed to the fact that most families with children—as well as move-up buyers—tend to make their moves during the summer months, thus easing inventory a bit for the first time homebuyers. The increase in September was the largest since July 2012. Our continued low mortgage rates, coupled with this easing of inventory, along with job gains, have enabled more first time buyers to enter the market.

Earlier this year a new Freddie Mac loan offering mortgages with only 3 percent down and no mortgage insurance became popular with many first time and millennial buyers. Bank of America recently announced that it had so much success with this program that it’s doubling its financial commitment to the program. This is good news for the 75 million millennials who are now forming households, which are expected to have a large impact on the housing market for years to come.

Many millennials have lacked the resources for sustainable home ownership due to the inability to make a traditional down payment, high student loan debt, home price growth that exceeds wage growth and difficulty in saving for a down payment due to high rents. Meanwhile, rents are rising because of the low vacancy rate created by housing demands for this age group.

Accompanying the housing demand of the new millennial households is the aging population of our country. By 2030, the senior population is anticipated to exceed 74 million people or one in five Americans. Seniors downsizing will open up some inventory, but it is also anticipated that there will be an increased demand for safe and affordable senior rental housing—another attractive rental market.

Although many problems and challenges still exist for first time homebuyers, millennials and renters, it does appear that things are getting better and that more attention is being paid to these issues. These problems didn’t develop overnight, so they will take time to resolve as well.