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Millennials as Home BuyersMillennials belong to the largest generation in the U.S. at 83 million strong, according to the most recent Census Bureau data, and they're also highly diverse. Indeed, almost 45 percent are a part of a minority group. Given this, their attitudes don't always align. After all, they come from a host of different backgrounds and encompass several age groups (18 to 35 years of age).

But one area where millennials are in relative lockstep is homeownership. Many are experiencing the same obstacles to achieving the American dream, new polling data suggests.

The homeownership rate climbed in 2017, reaching 64.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Census Bureau. Up from 63.7 percent in Q4 of 2016, homeownership is currently at its highest point since Q4 2014. It also ticked higher from 63.9 percent in the third quarter. 

And believe it or not, it was none other than millennials who pushed homeownership forward. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the percentage of buyers 35 years of age and under in 2017's closing quarter reached 36 percent, up 1.3 percent from the fourth quarter of the preceding year.

Supply shortfall causing frustrations

But millennials have been met with a few bumps in the road, influenced largely by supply constraints. According to data from, numerous first-time homebuyers in the previous 12 months had limited options to select from, with inventory down almost 9 percent compared to the previous year. This caused asking prices to reach levels often beyond their financial means.

Joe Kirchner, senior economist, indicated builders can't move fast enough to shore up the number of property listings, but they still need to be mindful of buyers' budgets.

"Builders will need to focus more on homes geared for moderate incomes, partner with the government on initiatives to transform distressed urban neighborhoods and overcome labor shortages through a combination of workforce development training and pressure to ease artificial restrictions on the supply of labor," Kirchner said.

For 70 consecutive months, asking prices have risen on a year-over-year basis. In December, the median for an existing home was $246,800, according to the National Association of Realtors. Inventory levels also fell in December from the same period 12 months ago, down 11.4 percent to just 1.4 million up for sale. That's the lowest amount on record.

If you're new to the homebuying process or are interested in applying for a mortgage, Residential Mortgage Services can help you get started. We originate mortgage loans throughout the Midwest, South and Northeast, and our loan officers are ready to provide you with the options that best fit your needs and budget.