If you’re a millennial looking to buy a home, put on your boxing gloves: The market is competitive. August housing sales fell to a 2017 low, dropping 3.4% from July’s numbers, according to the US Census Bureau.
But while there are fewer homes on the market, there are more people looking to buy. This means the market is competitive, and affordable homes harder to come by.
Millennials are affected the most, because they make up 42% of first-time homebuyers, the largest group of any generation. According to a report by Apartmentlist, 80% of millennials said they would like to buy a home one day, but just 55% think they can actually afford to buy one.
Coming up with money for the recommended 20% downpayment is a huge obstacle for all homebuyers, but millennials fare slightly worse, according to a new report by Zillow. More than one-third of millennial buyers could not afford a 20% down payment, and put down an average of 11% instead, according to the report. But 68% of millennials reported having less than $1,000 saved for a down payment, and 44% said they have not saved anything.
For those who did sign on the dotted line, 37% of those millennials went over budget, compared with 29% of all home buyers, according to Zillow.
The problem with the market is a lack of affordable homes, according to the Zillow report. The average price of a new home was $300,200, down from July’s average of $320,100. These prices are out of reach for many potential young home buyers.
The options to rent are also pushing potential home buyers away from owning. Sixty-two percent of millennials were also looking into rental properties while searching for homes. The Zillow report says this suggests millennials don’t view home buying as “a sure thing.”
The solution? Build more affordable homes, according to Zillow. As more millennials look for housing outside of the rental market, they will need more options in their price range.