Utah’s Millennials 2nd in the Nation in Home Ownership

Across the United States, members of the Millennial generation (born 1981 through the mid-2000’s) appear to be postponing major life decisions such as getting married, having children, and buying homes.  Here in Utah, new research from the Utah Foundation says they “seem to be taking them on all at once.”

In the third of four parts of Millennials and Boomers: How Utah’s Generations Compare to Each Other and the Nation, Research Analysts Mallory Bateman and Christopher Collard explain how Utahns of all generations prefer owning their homes to renting. 42% of Utah’s Millennials own homes compared to 32% of their peers nationwide. Among members of Utah’s Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964), 91% own their homes. So do 85% of Gen Xers (born 1965-1980) and 94% of the members of the Silent Generation (1928-1944). 59% of Utah’s Millennials rent their homes compared to 68% nationwide.

The report’s key findings include:

  • Utah has the second highest percentage of homeownership among Millennial households — in part due to more of them being married with children.
  • The percentage of Millennials who live with their parents is near (within 2%) of the national average.
  • For Utahns currently interested in homeownership, factors such as income, high debt other than student debt, and bad credit were the three most common hurdles preventing homeownership.
  • In Utah, both urban Millennials and Millennials who would like to live in big or medium-sized cities placed high importance on community attributes such as shorter commutes, access to transit, and neighborhoods with a mix of shops and services.
  • Utah Boomers and members of the Silent Generation were more likely than younger generations to want to live in small towns and to put high importance on communities with a mix of incomes.

Quality of life in the communities where they live is also important to Millennials, who now make up Utah’s largest generational cohort. “We looked at what is important – what people want from their ideal community,” says Utah Foundation Research Analyst Mallory Bateman, a co-author of the study. “Those who want to live in urban or even suburban areas place higher importance on being close to shops, having shorter commutes and the availability of public transit options. These differences were even more pronounced for Millennials and Gen Xers than in older generations”

Research Analyst Christopher Collard says student loan debt is a concern for Utah’s Millennials, but not an insurmountable obstacle.  “While national studies have found fewer households being formed because of student debt, Utah Millennials have indicated that student debt was not a primary factor in either impeding Utah Millennials from moving out of their parents’ home or purchasing their own homes. For Utah, income level and familial status play a much stronger role in determining these factors.”

The third part of Millennials and Boomers: How Utah’s Generations Compare to Each Other and the Nationis available on the Utah Foundation website: www.utahfoundation.org.  The report is based on the results of a survey conducted for Utah Foundation by Lighthouse Research.  More than 1,300 residents of Utah were asked about their views on jobs and economic issues, housing and other issues.  The fourth part of the report will deal with their political views.  It will be released in July.