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A key way millennial homeowners differ from other generations

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

Millennials don’t want to own homes. It’s an oft-repeated assertion that may not actually be true.

In fact, 79% of millennial homeowners believe owning a home has a positive impact on their long-term financial picture, according to Bank of America’s second annual Homebuyer Insights Report. And a whopping 86% believe owning a home is more affordable than renting.

Young homeowners aren’t as picky and are the least likely to seek a move-in ready home among all the generations — because they don’t necessarily view their first home as their permanent residence, BofA’s head of consumer lending Steve Boland told Yahoo Finance. Sixty-eight percent of millennials surveyed view their current home as a “stepping stone” to their forever home.

As millennials grow up…

“Clearly, the millennial generation is coming of age and realizing it might not make sense to wait anymore to purchase their first home,” said Boland.

The study, which was conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science, using GfK’s KnowledgePanel, surveyed a total of 4,906 adults age over 18, including 1,268 current homeowners and 435 prospective homeowners. It found millennials are looking to purchase a home, but not taking as committed of an approach as their parents or grandparents did at the same age.

Bank of America

The Bank of America study highlights the fact that, simply put, when millennials grow up they’re not much different from their predecessors.

“We talk about millennials as this one cohort, but as they get older, their life priorities are changing, whether it’s because they’re getting married, having kids, or what have you,” said Boland.

Homeownership is a priority

“Homeownership is proving to be central, and one of the main goals young adults have. I do see this trend continuing and we saw a lot of optimism this year,” he added.

Though a little over a third of millennials are homeowners, 88% of millennials who don’t own a home desire to have one, according to a 2016 study conducted by research survey startup Qualtrics and VC firm Accel Partners.

But with the number of available homes for sale at a 20-year-low, even scrappy millennials looking for a fixer upper will have a hard time finding reasonably priced property.

Melody Hahm is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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