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Millennials aren’t the only demographic with waning interest in homeownership. Homeownership has been declining for generations, according to a new report from Apartment List. The trend shows that each generation has a unique relationship with purchasing a home, seeing a shrinking relationship between wealth and homeownership.

“I think that while homeownership has always been viewed as a powerful vehicle to wealth creation, each generation has had a unique relationship with the housing market. We see the highest homeownership rates for the silent generation, which comprises a lot of WWII veterans who came home from war to a huge housing boom and an economy that was largely centered on building homes,” Rob Warnock, research associate at Apartment List, tells GlobeSt.com. “Suburbs continued to flourish as boomers came of age, but obviously for gen-X and millennials the momentum was curtailed by the Great Recession and slowly worsening shortage of affordable housing.”

Of all the demographics, millennials are the least likely to own a home, according to the list, but the most likely to by one today. The reason is complicated.  “On one hand, millennials have a slightly different perception of homeownership than their parents. Since so many have clustered in expensive urban areas and delayed starting families, it’s more common for millennials to embrace renting and the flexible lifestyle it affords,” says Warnock. “Coupled with that is the reality of supply and demand in the housing market. There is a huge shortage of affordable homes in the places that millennials want to live, and many are unwilling to move out to the suburbs or start super-commuting just to be able to buy a home. Instead, they continue renting.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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