Millennials Prioritize Homebuying Over Marriage and Kids

Millennials Prioritize Homebuying and Retiring Over Marriage and Kids 956x538 blog


Bank of America’s 2018 Homebuyer Insights Report, surveyed 2,000 millennials, 23-40 years old

  • 80% say retirement is their priority
  • 72% say home ownership is their priority
  • Only 50% say marriage is their priority
  • Only 44% say having kids is their priority


  • 47% say home ownership makes them feel “mature/responsible”
  • And 47% say it makes them “feel like an adult.”


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Anthony: Hey, Janice.

Janice: Hi, how are you?

Anthony: I’m well, and you?

Janice: Very well.

Anthony: Let’s talk about this Bank of America report. Bank of America recently published their 2018 fall home buyer insights report. And this is very specific to the attitudes … it’s a survey about the attitudes and thoughts of millennials with regard to home buying. I thought that’s pretty cool. What do you think?

Janice: I like statistics and I love it when they print them out like this and you can actually see numbers and comparisons. So to me it was fascinating.

Anthony: Let’s get some of the nitty gritty out of the way. This was again, prepared by Bank of America. It was based on 2000 consumer responses, so statistically, take it for what it’s worth. It was questioning folks between ages of 23 and 40, which is confusing to me, because I thought the cutoff age for millennials was 34. So I don’t know what that … But hey, okay. So the headline is, the big piece of the news was that … How do I put this? Over 70% of millennials put a higher priority on owning a home or being able to retire versus getting married or having children. Can you phrase that a little better for me?

Janice: I found the article fascinating because there are statistics, but it was a little confusing because the article says millennials place home ownership above other like priorities, but it isn’t the highest, but it’s the second highest.

Anthony: Here, let me just run it down, so that the folks listening can understand our confusion. It says millennials place home ownership above other life priorities, and then it says, 80% place being able to retire as the highest priority. 50% say getting married, 72% say owning a home, and 44% say having children. And the first thing that jumped out to me was that doesn’t add up to 100.

Janice: Right, and 61% travel the world.

Anthony: So I’m not sure how to take this data, but hey, we have it, so let’s just chat about it.

Janice: Absolutely. It’s still interesting that more people place traveling over having children. It’s definitely fluctuated over the generations.

Anthony: Honestly, based on my stereotypical view of millennials, that was one that least surprised me, that traveling the world at 61%, would have priority over getting married 50%, were having kids 44%. It’s the other two things that surprised me. I didn’t know that … I had no idea that 72% of millennials place a home ownership as a higher priority than the other things.

Janice: I absolutely agree with you. I think if you continue on to the article where it says it makes them feel more mature to act like an adult, feel independent, that was pretty fascinating to me.

Anthony: Right, it said one of the reasons why, the reasons for these choices, and it says, when thinking about buying their first homes, millennials feel, and 40% said much more responsible, and another 47% said feels like an adult. That just blew my mind, because what could be more responsible or adult like than having your own kids?

Janice: I guess owning a home.

Anthony: There it is, I don’t know what else to add to that tidbit. The part about where 80% of millennials put a priority on being able to retire, to me that also fit in with the notion of again, this is total stereotypes. I’m sure a lot of millennials don’t feel this way, but wanting to not work and just travel the world. That fit for me. It was just really the home ownership one that jumped out at me.

Janice: If you could think of being able to retire, that’s a lot of planning. You have to save, you have to … there’s so much that goes into it. With a little bit of an oxymoron that you’re going to travel, retire, and owning a home, those are three different things that one is spending a lot, one is saving a lot.

Anthony: Oh yeah.

Janice: Yeah.

Anthony: And not working. Because if you’re retiring …

Janice: You can’t retire, and you can’t own a home if you don’t have income, and if you’re traveling the world, …

Anthony: Janice, what you’re saying is that this survey shows that millennials are unrealistic. Thank you for that conclusion.

Janice: I’m just confused. Maybe that’s what it is. I couldn’t travel the world, although it would be really fun, but my mortgage would not be paid.

Anthony: Do you have any friends in your circle who are in that age range, or even friends of your kids who might be in that age range?

Janice: I am technically a generation X, because I was born in 1980. I’m at the end, but I’m right before the millennials. So I have a different perspective I guess, coming in off the … most of my acquaintances and friends are the generation X.

Anthony: Doesn’t that put you on the border?

Janice: I really does because generation X is 1965 to 1980. I was born March of 1980, so I was right there on the cusp of the millennials.

Anthony: But most of your friends are on the X side?

Janice: Correct. Correct, and then my children are young enough that they’re the post-millennials. 1997 to current.

Anthony: What is that, Z, gen Z?

Janice: That’s a good question. I call them post-millennials. It depends on how you Google the question. But the zero to 21-year-olds.

Anthony: Going back to the survey … by the way, most of my friends are gen Xers as well, so that’s why I guess you and I are so ignorant about them.

Janice: All I know from millennials is what I learn online. If you see it online, it must be true.

Anthony: Of course. Google wouldn’t lie to us, right? Jumping back to the survey, it says first-time home buyers are ready to act soon, and that means these millennials are planning to buy … 38% said they plan to buy in the next two years, and another 36% say they plan to buy in the next three to five years. There’s been a lot of talk about this in the housing market chatter about when this … the millennial wave of home buyers, when is that going to happen. Or is it not going to happen because millennials are staying at home. I don’t know. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Janice: Or renting.

Anthony: Renting. Right, good point.

Janice: Going further into the article, it says that 50% are renters, so they believe renting long term will prove to be more expensive than buying a home. Absolutely, and you don’t have any equity. I wonder what the statistics are compared to renting, to buying in the millennials. That would be interesting.

Anthony: Cool. I’m not sure how much more we can pull out of this article, especially since we have just … we’ve pretty much admitted we know nothing about millennials.

Janice: Right. Maybe a guest speaker next time will be a few millennials that we could ask these questions to directly.

Anthony: Hilarious. Okay Jay, let’s wrap this one up and we’ll talk again next time.

Janice: Awesome, we’ll talk soon.

Anthony: All right, thanks.

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