NEW REPORT- It’s Not Just Millennials: Homeownership Has Been Declining for Generations


When we talk about homeownership rates across different generations, the story is usually pretty simple. Baby boomers bought a lot of homes. Millennials haven’t.

new report from Apartment Listunder embargo until Tuesday 3/17, explores age-adjusted homeownership rates across the generations and tells a different story. Millennials, it turns out, aren’t the first generation to drive a dip in homeownership.

In fact, the last 3 generations have owned fewer homes than their predecessors. Even baby boomers have lower homeownership than the silent generation that came before them.

Homeownership Rates

Below are some highlights from the report:

  • Millennials are the least likely to own a home, but the most likely to purchase a new one today. Their homeownership rate is rising faster than any other generation and has been increasing steadily for the last decade.
  • Over time, declining homeownership rates is especially striking among middle-class families, less-educated households, and black millennials:
  • Many low-income families struggle to buy homes, and this fact hasn’t changed significantly over time. Yet, the homeownership rate for middle-class millennials and gen Xers significantly lags prior generations.
  • The importance of higher education has increased substantially over time. For baby boomers without a college degree, 64% owned homes by age 38. For gen X, that homeownership rate drops to 57%, and for millennials it falls to 48%.
  • The generational homeownership gap is widest for young African-American families. For the oldest millennials, black homeownership is a staggering 42 percentage points lower than white homeownership.

Homeownership by Generation and Income