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Millennials are officially the nation’s largest generation,1 and spanning the ages of 24 to 39, they are now in their prime home-buying years.2 But for as long as they have been old enough to buy homes, millennials have lagged previous generations in fulfilling that goal. In this study, we combine data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and our annual Apartment List Renter Survey to assess whether millennials are catching up, or if they are truly less likely to attain homeownership than prior generations. Though the millennial homeownership rate is rising, we find that a generational homeownership gap persists and the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are likely to reinforce the trend in years to come.
- Pew Research Center: Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation↩
- Generation definitions are adopted from the Pew Research Center. For details, see the chart titled "The Generations Defined" in this report.↩
The COVID-19 pandemic made housing affordability a persistent concern throughout 2020. And as we enter the new year, rent payments remain a financial obstacle for many families. According to our latest survey, 30 percent of renters did not make their January payment on-time at the start of the year.1 This is down just slightly from the mid-summer peak when unemployment was at its worst, but up significantly from historic baseline levels.2
For minority renters, the missed payment crisis has been even more damaging. In the fall of 2020, the missed payment rate for non-white renters was nearly 50 percent higher than that of white renters. This is just one of many ways that minority groups are burdened with an outsize share of the pandemic’s economic fallout; beyond housing, people of color have disproportionately experienced loss of employment, loss of health insurance, loss of food security, and more severe health impacts.
As we did throughout much of 2020, our team collected data on housing, race, and financial outcomes using a nationally-representative survey of over 4,000 respondents taken during the first week of January 2021. The findings below highlight how the persistent and unequal effects of 2020’s housing crisis are spilling over into the new year.
- Similar to the surveys we ran throughout much of 2020, this month's nationally-representative survey reached more than 4,000 Americans. It was administered using SurveyMonkey and our results were balanced by gender and age to match the distribution of the nation as a whole.↩
- Data from the 2017 American Housing Survey indicate that in an average month, 3.9 percent of renters will fail to pay full rent. These data are available via the AHS Table Creator.↩
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in myriad ways over the course of 2020, and housing choice is no exception. In a survey conducted in June, we found that 30 percent of renters were considering putting a pause on moving plans because of the pandemic. At the same time 17 percent of respondents said that the pandemic had made them more likely to move in 2020, either out of financial necessity, a desire to take advantage of falling rents, or because of changing preferences. But among the renters who are continuing to move, how have their housing choices been altered by the pandemic? We analyzed data from millions of Apartment List users to find out.1
- For the purposes of this analysis, we determine each user’s current location based on IP address, and compare that to the location where they’re searching for an apartment. We aggregate these locations at the metro level to identify extended-distance moves. This report is based on data for all users who searched on Apartment List between July 1 and November 24 of 2020.↩
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At Apartment List, our mission is to find you a home and our method is trust and transparency. With tons of homes and apartments for rent in almost every state, city, and neighborhood across the nation, we‘re here to help you find your next home.
Here’s how it works: first, we get to know you. You’ll answer a few simple questions and we’ll find the best matches – just for you. Then, we mix and match your personalized results, making it easy to discover places with the perfect combination of price, location and amenities. From there, we help you figure out which listings are best to visit and eventually lease, showing you up-to-date pricing and availability, rent specials, and much more. After all, everyone deserves a home they love.