Millennial Home Ownership – Why They Are Choosing Home Rental Over Purchasing

By Rudy Rudulph, December 28, 2016


Millennials are among the most unique and influential of all the age demographics today. They were born and grew up in a time of great technological inventions and were influential in many of the trends that shaped society and cultural norms then and now.

One of these trends that are being impacted by millennials is the swing in the housing market — especially when the gap between millennials renting a home as opposed to owning their homes are concerned.

There are a number of reasons that have been presented as a possible explanation for this swing in this age demographic when they are looking for apartments and homes for rent in Alabama:

  1. Familiarity out of college: Many millennials are coming out of the school setting and entering the ‘real world’ for the first time so they tend to naturally gravitate towards the familiar. Many college students live in dorms or rental properties while attending school so renting an apartment is a logical step to take after graduating as it is familiar and something they are comfortable with and know how to handle.
  2. More affordable: Splitting the cost of an apartment or condo among several roommates is easier to do than trying to split mortgage payments up that same way. Also, it is harder for new graduates to get the loan they would need to get in order to buy a home- especially if they have no credit history or a bad credit score because of poor choices they made during college.
  3. Easier to manage and maintain: One of the biggest factors that make renting an apartment or finding rental homes so attractive, to millennials as well as the general public, is that the upkeep, maintenance, and repairs are usually included in the monthly payment cost. Utilities are also included with many property rentals so there is less for the millennial to worry about keeping up with, and this gives them more freedom and flexibility, which leads to the next point.
  4. Greatest level of flexibility: Millennials are often still at a stage in life where they are trying to figure out just what they want in life and where their path will take them.  Looking for apartments or houses for rent just makes more sense for them. Form moving to continue their education to following a path to their dream job, there is often a degree of uncertainty so it is often in their best interest to rent rather than try and set down deep roots when there is a strong change they may end up moving in a year or two.
  5. Professional vs personal life: The final reason why many millennials are choosing to rent rather than buy when it comes to their chose of residency comes down to where their focus is. Are they looking to advance their professional life? Then an apartment is easier when it comes to schedules and moves and other life changes. Property managers know that home ownership ties them down in one spot and they may be more focused on the professional side of their life rather than their personal life. They use this to promote their property management companies and their available home rentals.

All of these factors play together to impact whether a millennial is more likely to rent or buy their first residency out of college. This is a trend that is being seen in many large and medium sized cities across the country, even in Birmingham, Alabama!