scorecardMillennials have been priced out of buying homes, and are venting that they can't afford rent either
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Millennials have been priced out of buying homes, and are venting that they can't afford rent either

Lindsay Dodgson   

Millennials have been priced out of buying homes, and are venting that they can't afford rent either
PolicyPolicy4 min read
  • Millennials struggling with skyrocketing rent are sharing their troubles on TikTok.
  • Many have struggled with recent rent hikes, and say they have no savings to fall back on.

First millennials were priced out of buying homes, and now they can't even afford their rent.

TikTok is full of young professionals saying their landlords are sharply hiking their rents, and they have no idea what to do.

"My leasing office chose violence," Kaitlin Murray, a TikTok creator, said in a recent video.

She said she'd just received her lease agreement for the next year for her 450-square-foot high-rise home in Boston. She moved into the apartment in 2021, she said, and paid $2,600 per month.

Now, she said, her landlord wanted $3,444.

"I love Boston but it's not New York," she said. "This is insane."


Is anyone else’s rent increasing astronomically? Also 28 is the most confusing age ever #boston #seaport #20s #chicago #cinci #decisions #budgeting #needadvice #newyork #jobsearch

♬ original sound - Kaitlin Murray

In another recent video, Ora Hardesty tearfully said that for the first time ever she wouldn't be able to afford rent.

"I'm not a rich person, I don't have a lot of stuff, I have basic household necessities — a couch, a bed, a washer and dryer, that's about it," she said. "I don't have a lot of lavish things, I don't go on vacations, and I don't spend a lot."

She said her rent in Savannah, Georgia, had increased from $1,300 to $1,800. She was also struggling with the cost of groceries, she said, and had cut back on everything drastically.

"I'm exhausted all the time for being overworked and underpaid," she said.

"I don't need much to be happy, I just want to be able to live comfortable."


I know I’m not the only dealing with this rn. Like how are we suppose to do this? I don’t understand. #lifestyleblogger #growthmindset #mindsetmotivation #lifeupdate

♬ original sound - Ora Hardesty

Millennials — those between 28 and 43 — have known for a long time they probably won't have the same good fortune as their parents when it comes to buying a good first home.

As a generation, they've understood that skyrocketing house prices, stagnant wages, and an aging population holding onto properties meant getting on the ladder would be more challenging.

This has manifested in a few ways: millennials have moved out of cities to the suburbs, found themselves cursed with being "the roommate generation" or been forced to move back in with parents.

Rents are higher than ever, and millions of millennials are spending the majority of their paychecks on their housing.

Too damn high

But not being able to afford it at all is even more extreme.

According to real-estate experts, millennials are in a perfect storm, tackling a slew of financial woes at once.

Alana Lindsay, a real-estate agent at Coldwell Banker Warburg, told Business Insider that for millennials to really be able to thrive in this economy, "they would need significant increases in their wages."

"Millennials are bearing the brunt of this economic downturn because they are the first generation statistically to do worse than their parents across the board in terms of financial health," she said.

"They have large sums of student loans that previous generations did not have, huge medical expenses, credit card debt, and low wages, and are fighting against the overall decrease in the economic mobility of the United States."

Omer Reiner, a realtor and president of FL Cash Home Buyers, told BI that millennials have not been able to save, which causes major issues when unexpected costs arise.

"When the rent gets increased to help the landlord pay for higher taxes or just to keep up with the market rate for the property, they have no cushion," he said.

"A large portion of this age group believes they will never be able to purchase a home and will rent their entire lives, so it is a problem that compounds."

Rashi Malhotra, also an agent at Coldwell Banker Warburg, said the pandemic has also been a factor, with rents surging since then, placing a heavier financial burden on millennial renters.

"Although unemployment rates have decreased in the US, millennials continue to grapple with lower wages as a lasting effect of the 2008 financial crisis, impacting their financial stability," she said.

The answer doesn't lie in blaming other generations, though, said Lee Davenport, an author and real-estate coach.

She told BI that every generation has struggled to get secure housing.

Millennials have one advantage, she said — social media lets them more readily amplify their stories.

"Ultimately, we need not listen to the voices that say, 'You're not the first to struggle with housing, so y'all be quiet,' like Whoopi did," she said, referring to widely-criticized comments by Whoopi Goldberg.

"And instead seek out the voices of history that say, 'You're not the first to struggle with housing, so y'all should organize, and here's how we did it.'"