Millenials are here to stay, but perhaps not in the way you think. According to a Pew Research study reported on by NBC News, Americans are moving homes at the lowest recorded rate in years, due in large part to the nature of Millenials.
Only 20% of Millenials aged 25-to-35 have reported that they lived at a different address a year prior to being surveyed, compared to 26% of Gen Xers, 25-27% of Boomers, and 26% of members of the Silent Generation, all interviewed at similar stages in their lives. Furthermore, of those that did move, Millenials were far more likely to move into a rental property vs. an owner-occupied home. What makes this information of particular note is the fact that Millenials tend to have less holding them back from making a significant move. But why aren’t they taking advantage of their situation?
When planning a significant relocation, three factors tend to have the greatest impact on why Millenials are moving less and whether the move is even possible – having a spouse, having a child, and already having a house.
Having A Spouse
In general, relocating with a spouse is more difficult. Trying to find a new job for both parties, agreeing on a location that both parties enjoy, finding an area that fits within a mutual budget, etc. However, compared to other generations, Millenials are less likely to be married, presumably freeing up their mobility.
Having a Child
Additionally, having a child in the household means young adults are less likely to find new living accommodations. Trying to move with children can create significant additional stress during the moving process, and cut down on the ideal areas to move to for a family. This would seem to a cause slowing Millenial mobility, but most Millenials report not having children, a stark contrast to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers of a similar age.
Owning a House
Finally, Millenials are far and away less likely to own a house than older generations surveyed at the same time in their lives. Planning out a move gains significant difficulties while trying to sell a house prior to moving or trying to pay for a new home while still paying off an owned home. Renting a living space should provide an easier access to be mobile rather than owning a home, but that simply isn’t the case.
Follow The Money
With all this seemingly counter-intuitive information, what ends up being the suspected cause of Millenials being less likely to move? The simplest answer seems to go back to the recession. With a decline in job opportunities and wage increases, Millenials were less likely to be employed, and more frugal with the earnings they were able to accumulate. According to NBC News, “Since 2010 there are fewer currently employed 18-24-year-olds (54 percent) than at any time since the government started collecting data in 1948. And there’s a wider employment gap between young and all working-age adults than at any time in recorded history.”
Without a sharp increase in either employment or wages, and with stauncher lending terms, Millenials are unable to amass the resources necessary to support home ownership, which is difficult enough without considering that home and land ownership in general is becoming less of a stable investment than ever before.
Whatever the cause may be, the numbers don’t lie: most Millenials are not likely to be in the market for a home. Without a greater motivation, Millenials are sticking right where they are.
Sources: Fry, Richard. “Americans are moving at historically low rates, in part because Millennials are staying put.” Pew Research Center. N.p., 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Popken, Ben. “Millennials aren’t moving. And it’s a sign of a big problem.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.