Why millennials choose renting over buying

2 minutes read | Posted on: May 01, 2023

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By: Smaya Anand

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Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash


It’s been observed that millennials aren’t as keen on buying houses as previous generations have been. In fact, 18% of millennials say that they will probably rent forever, and even among those who do want to own a house, only 15% have over $10,000 saved for a down payment. There are several reasons for this partially voluntary, partially involuntary deficit– let’s take a look.

The Impact of the Great Recession on Affordability

The Great Recession greatly impacted the lives of millennials, causing much higher student loan debt and making it more difficult to buy a house, as foreclosures increased after the housing bubble burst. At the same time, homebuilding decreased, so there were much fewer houses for an ever-increasing amount of people. The amounts of debt that millennials had made it even harder to qualify for a mortgage. Even today, housing prices are increasing greatly, creating a significant roadblock for anyone who wants to become a homeowner.

It’s because of all this that 73% of millennials who say they may never buy a home also say the main reason is affordability.

Millennials Are Less Focused on Settling Down

More and more young people are less focused on traditional life milestones like getting married, having kids, and overall settling down. While this may partially come from their economic troubles, it may also be because societal expectations are slowly shifting. Women are more able to focus on their careers instead of on starting a family, for example, and owning a home can often come with that.

Some Advantages of Renting

There are also some advantages to renting– that’s why 34% of millennials who plan to rent forever also say that they “like the flexibility that renting provides,” and 32% say that they want to “avoid home maintenance and other added costs.” For the millennials who don’t want to settle down, renting is a great option because it allows them to explore more of life, as they can live in different locations.

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