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More Millennials plan to never own a home. Here's why

James Leggate

More Millennials expect that they will never own a home, citing a variety of obstacles preventing or delaying a property purchase.

An annual survey of Millennials by rental listing site ApartmentList.com found that 12.3 percent of Millennials plan to “always rent,” up from 10.7 percent last year and even smaller percentages of millennials in earlier years.

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The percentage of Millennials who say they expect to always rent ranges from just 3.6 percent in Nashville, Tennessee, up to 18.2 percent in San Jose, California.

Being unable to afford a home was the most common reason Millennials said they would rent forever, with 69 percent pointing to that as a cause.

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A similar number of Millennials who said they do plan to buy a home said they were waiting because they can’t afford to buy right now. About a third said they weren’t ready to settle down yet, and just shy of a quarter said they were waiting to be married or with a long-term partner.

The down payment was the most common financial obstacle Millennials said was preventing them from affording a home, followed by bad credit and the cost of monthly payments. Close to half of Millennial renters said they have no down payment savings, and 40 percent said they had less than $10,000 saved for a down payment.

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There are several factors that have slowed Millennials in saving for a home. More than half of college-educated Millennials reported having outstanding debt, and the survey found they were saving close to $100 less money each month for a home down payment. Also, fewer Millennials said this year that they expected family to help them afford a home.

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But some Millennials indicated they prefer renting over ownership. Four in 10 said they like renting because they enjoy the flexibility, and more than a third said they want to avoid maintenance and other costs. And 28 percent said they consider it financially risky to buy a home.

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