While millennial homeownership has been understandably low since 2008, with a record low in 2016, it had actually been climbing in 2017. It was at a three-year high of 36% in quarter 4 of 2017. Now it has dropped again. The figure for quarter 1 of this year was 35.3%. Homeownership rate in general did not drop; in fact, it was steady at 64.2 for two quarters. This is up from the 50-year low of 62.9% in 2016 and the steadily rising 63.6% in 2017. This is because homebuyers between the ages of 35 and 64 are still buying more, even as millennials buy less.
Lack of affordable housing is the clear cause, as millennials today searching for starter homes aren’t able to find much in the way of inventory. At the end of the first quarter this year, starter home sales were down 21% at the same time that high-priced sales increased. Development has been focused on the luxury market, and rising interest rates and prices mean many are still renting because they can’t afford to buy.