It’s time that we stopped referring to Millennials as kids. The oldest members of the cohort are now in their mid-30s, and by large the only ones who are still in school are now postgrad. Yet again the press is bemoaning the fact that this generation has put off getting into the homeowning market far past the point where many Gen Xers and most Baby Boomers had already entered. One of the reasons for this is that this generation came of age during one of the biggest real estate bubbles, followed by a catastrophic recession. Any number of them probably saw friends and family lose their own home in the foreclosure crisis, and have precious little reason to trust in many of the institutions that previous generations took for granted.


There are a number of myths about Millennials, which while they may garner eyeballs and column space, are largely unproductive, brushed with overly broad strokes, and rife with generational snootiness. This plays into the Millennial distrust of news media, banks, large corporations, and labor unions. So let’s bust a few of those myths and better understand just where these no-longer-kids are coming from.

 The average median age for homeownership is 33 years of age, right at the top of the millennial cohort. Yes, this generation is renting for significantly longer than the Boomers did (six years versus 2.6), but less than two years longer than for the top of the Gen X cohort.

Millennials still have significant student loan debt, insufficient credit scores, and insufficient income for mortgage payments. Even for the top of the cohort, now more than a decade after college graduation, this generation is still carrying significant student debt. These payments make it difficult to save for a down payment, plan for retirement, plan to marry, or plan to start a family. Likewise poor credit scores prevent mortgage applicants from obtaining a good rate, or a prime mortgage.

Those dead-end careers are about to get a kickstart. Boomers are retiring in droves, many of them having delayed retirement because of the hit they took during the recession. The oldest Baby Boomers have just passed 70 years of age, and we can expect a wave of retirements to loosen things up at the top, allowing Gen Xers and Millennials to move up the ladder.

Mortgage Lenders Hold the Key

Stricter lending standards put in place after the subprime mortgage crisis mean that many millennial’s can’t meet the median credit score of 750 required to obtain a Fannie Mae backed mortgage. A number of them cannot even meet the 620 industry minimum to obtain any type of mortgage. We all know that subprime mortgages are still out there, with higher interest rates and fees that take advantage of the borrower’s desire for a home of their own. Whether it is by circumstance or by design, the Millennial generation has held off buying homes for reasons entirely of their own, and they will enter the home buying market when they are ready.