The millennial wealth gap is growing as some flock to buy houses and others give up on homeownership entirely
- More millennials became homeowners than any other generation in 2020, per an Apartment List report.
- At the same time, more
millennialsnow believe they'll never own a home; 18% plan to rent forever.
- This disparity is evidence of a wealth gap between the "millennial rich" and "millennial poor."
One only has to compare millennials' homes to see just how big the intragenerational wealth gap is.
More millennials bought homes in 2020 than any other generation did that year, according to Apartment List's Homeownership report. But at the same time, more millennials also now believe they'll never be able to own a home - 18% said they plan to rent forever, up by 9% percentage points from the previous year.The report looked at data from the US Census Bureau and its annual Apartment List Renter Survey, which polled 1,851 millennials.
But the demand for homes has also driven housing prices up, in turn driving
The pandemic has intensified a millennial wealth gap
This stark difference in millennial homeownership mirrors the divide between the "millennial rich" and the "millennial poor" that the
Now, that's not to say all those who plan to rent forever can't afford homes. Some millennials actually prefer to rent. Roughly one-third of respondents in the Apartment List report said they prefer the flexibility of renting, while the same amount said they didn't want to deal with the hidden costs of homeownership. And 21% deemed it a financially risky commitment.
But affordability remains the driving factor among those who aren't buying homes, and lies at the heart of the millennial wealth gap.At the core of such inequality is racial disparity. More white millennials are homeowners than other non-white groups, according to the report, and the lowest homeownership rates in the generation belong to Black millennials. At age 30, 51% of white millennials own homes, more than double the 20% of Black millennials who own homes at that age.
As Rob Warnock, research associate at Apartment List, wrote in the report, "The economic inequalities that contribute to low millennial homeownership are strengthening, not weakening."
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