Photo: Robert Clark
The Millennial presence in the US housing market is up markedly in 2017, with the generational group dominating the share of this year’s new mortgages and grabbing up the most homes in the entry-level market.
But while buying a home certainly adds to the mountain of Millennial debt, it’s not severely impacting their debt-to-income ratio, according to a report released earlier this week by Realtor.com.
Millennials were taking out mortgages on homes with a median price of $237,000 in September 2017. At the same time, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers were buying homes with a median price of $280,000 and $258,000, respectively. Millennials have been slowly narrowing the gap in purchase price with other generational groups, says Realtor.com.
And not only have Millennials been buying the bulk of the paltry selection of starter homes on the market — homes with prices below $200,000 — they are also purchasing the most low- to mid-tier homes in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range.
“That's in part because there simply aren't enough starter homes on the market to meet demand, but also because some older millennials are already trading up to second homes,” says Realtor.com in the report.
If the current trend continues, Millennials are on track to surpass Gen X as the primary buyers of mid- to upper-tier homes, priced at $350,000 to $750,000, by the end of next year, according to Realtor.com
Millennials are still lagging behind Gen X in the high-end market, homes priced at $700,000 and up. However, Millennials managed to surpassed Baby Boomers in that submarket earlier this year during the summer.
Meantime, the average debt-to-income ratio of Millennial mortgage applicants was 37 percent in October 2015, compared to 38 percent in October 2017.
“Already burdened with student loan debt, Millennials are also starting families and buying houses in an economic environment in which home prices have generally been increasing faster than wages,” says Realtor.com's chief economist Danielle Hale in the report.
As far as downpayments are concerned, Millennials are putting down nearly as much percentage-wise as Gen Xers. The average Millennial downpayment is just over 9 percent, compared to 11 percent by Gen Xers.
“When you consider where Millennials are in the homeownership cycle, it’s reassuring that their down payments have been constant,” says Hale in the report.
Click here to read the entire report.