Remember a few decades back, when everyone was fleeing the city and settling in the suburbs? Then, when millennials came along, they began flocking back to America's newly redeveloped inner cities. Who wants to own a house with all of the work it entails? It's much more fun to rent a hip downtown apartment, with its easy access to funky shops, great restaurants and lots of entertainment venues. Yet dreams of home ownership remain strong for millennials – even more so than for their elders. A 2014 survey by Zillow Real Estate Research found nearly two-thirds of those aged 18 to 34 felt owning a home was critical to living "the good life" compared to 56 percent of people aged 35-49 [sources: Davidson, Terrazas].
It's really not surprising that today's millennials largely are renters. Remember, they began diving into the job market when unemployment rates were high. This meant they often had to take lower-paying jobs, which equates to less money available to stash away for a down payment. Plus, members of this generation are delaying marriage until they're older; it's a lot harder for a single person to scrape together enough money to purchase a home than it is for two people to do so. While their homebuying may be delayed, it should occur eventually [source: Davidson].