BAM Key Details:
- A new study by RentCafe shows Millennials have become a homeowner-majority generation, passing the renter-majority torch to “Zoomers.”
- While Boomers have recently overtaken Millennials as the largest generation of home buyers, the number of Millennial homeowners has grown faster in the past five years than any other generation.
Millennials, long dubbed the “generation of renters” have officially become a homeowner majority generation.
According to a new study by RentCafe, a record-breaking 7 million Millennials joined the ranks of homeowners just in the past five years—showing faster growth than any other generation. Over a quarter of the 110 largest U.S. metros saw the number of Millennial homeowners more than double from 2017 to 2022.
True, Baby Boomers are still the largest homeowner generation—as well as the largest home buying generation, according to the latest NAR report. And on the renting side, Millennials are still in the lead with the highest number of apartment dwellers in the U.S.
Keep in mind, too, that Millennials were the largest home buying generation from 2014 to 2021, losing the top spot to Boomers in 2022.
Explosive growth makes Millennials an owner-majority generation
Millennials gained 10.8 million homeowners in the past decade, with 7.1 million of those joining the ranks in just the last five years, reaching 18.2 million in 2022 and accounting for 51.5% of Millennials as a whole, making them an owner-majority generation.
Five years ago, in 2017, Millennial homeowners totaled roughly 11 million, representing 35% of the Millennial population.
Gen X, coming in second, added only 1.9 million new homeowners in the last five years, while Boomers saw their homeowner numbers decline by 354,000 in the same timeframe.
Millennials became a homeowner-majority generation in 2022 at the average age of 34— compared to 32 for Gen X in 2003 and 33 for Boomers in 1987. The difference points to the challenges Millennials have faced in becoming homeowners, as well as their different attitudes toward ownership vs. renting.
Millennials pass the renter-majority torch to Zoomers
With Millennials now an owner-majority generation, they’ve passed the renter-majority torch to Gen Z, who gained roughly 4.5 million renters since 2017, growing their renter share to 74%, while most generations saw a decline in the number of renters. Gen X and Millennials saw the biggest drops.
Millennials remain the largest renter generation with 17.2 million renter households, but Gen Z, with 5.6 million renter households, is the only remaining renter-majority generation—and a significant market segment for today’s apartment builders.
Millennial homeowners vs. renters in largest U.S. metros
Of the top 50 largest U.S. metros, Richmond, Virginia, saw the largest increase in Millennial homeowners—234%. Las Vegas took the number two spot with a 158% jump, followed closely by Milwaukee with 157%.
At the other end of that spectrum, Cincinnati saw a 16% decline in Millennial homeowners.
New York and Seattle each saw 90% growth in Millennial owners—more than any other generation. And in Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, their numbers increased by over 70%.
In 29 of the 110 metros in RentCafe’s analysis—including Atlanta, Austin, San Antonio, and Orlando—Millennial owners have more than doubled in the past five years.
The two metros with the steepest increase in Millennial owners:
- Modesto, CA—where their number grew by 24 times
- North Port, FL—where it grew by 8 times
Overall, Florida was the number one choice for Millennials buying a home. Port St. Lucie, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and Pensacola were at the top of the list, with increases in Millennial owners ranging from 507% to 217%.
As for renters, Cleveland, OH; Raleigh, NC; San Jose, CA; and San Diego, CA, saw the highest jumps in the number of Millennial renters from 2017 to 2022:
- 85% for Cleveland and Raleigh
- Close to 50% for San Diego and San Jose
Florida might be the number one choice for renters, too, but many Florida cities saw declines in their renter population in the last five years. Millennial renters in Tampa and Jacksonville, as well as in Atlanta and Cincinnati, saw declines of more than one-third—the steepest in all the 50 largest metros.
Check out the full report at RentCafe to learn more.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
If you work in an area where Millennial homeowners are growing the fastest, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with what this age group looks for in a real estate agent, so you can ensure they have the best possible experience with their home purchase.
While you’re at it, look at what other generations want, and make sure you’re not spending a disproportionate amount of time on tasks that don’t add as much value.
Whether you’re helping a client buy (or sell) a home or save money while they rent, always be looking for ways to make the best use of your time and theirs.