Does COVID-19 convince millennials it's finally time to buy a home?
A new survey by Morning Consult suggests that this could be the case. More than a quarter of millennials who don't own a home, 28%, said they are more interested in buying one because of the pandemic.
Morning Consult's poll shows that "the coronavirus could permanently shape the future financial priorities of millennials, currently the largest work cohort in the United States." While older groups are more likely to already have mortgages, COVID has led many people who do not own a home to consider buying. While 76% of home-owning baby boomers say the pandemic hasn't changed their interest in property, the number has risen sharply among other groups. Twenty percent of all adults who don't own a home, including 20 percent of Gen Zers and 19 percent of Gen Xers, say the pandemic has encouraged them to consider buying a home.
"Part of the generational gap in home ownership is likely due to age: Millennials have already delayed home ownership, so those in the upper age group of this generation may just be willing to move out of rented space, especially with coronavirus restrictions." according to Claire Williams of Morning Consult. "Most baby boomers, who are most likely already able to own a home, are already doing so. This is reflected in the highest percentage of those who said their interest in home ownership has not changed due to COVID-19, at 76 percent."
Still, large sections of the population say the pandemic has not changed their interest in buying a home. According to Morning Consult, 58% of Gen Xers who do not own a home have not changed their views on home ownership. For Millennials and Gen Z, that percentage was 49% and 41%, respectively.
The survey interviewed 4,400 adults from September 8-10.
The home sales market had a tough summer during the pandemic. Sales of existing properties increased by 10.5% in August compared to the same month last year.
Interest in buying a home and the ability to do so are two different things. While COVID has changed home buying preferences, property is still out of reach for many Americans. Sharp rise in prices for single-family homes move faster than rising wages and historical slumps in mortgage rates, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
"In a year when nothing is normal, single-family home ownership has become less affordable for average earners in the US, despite conditions that seem to be pointing in the opposite direction," said Todd Teta, ATTOM's chief product officer, prepared for comments .