According to a new report based on census data from apartment-hunting website Abodo, 32.1 percent of millennials owned the homes they lived in in 2015. By comparison, 43.1 percent of adults younger than 35 owned their homes in 2004. Millennial homeownership decline is much sharper in certain parts of the country than others. For example, the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara, California area has seen a 34.8 percent drop in young-adult homeownership over the past ten years, the largest decline in the country. Meanwhile, two smaller metro areas — Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, Pennsylvania and Buffalo–Cheektowaga–Niagara Falls, New York — actually saw increases in millennial homeownership, by 12.1 and 3.8 percent respectively.
Despite encouraging numbers in some parts of the country, overall homeownership in the U.S. remains out of reach for the majority of young adults. Abodo’s data reports that the average millennial would have to save 15 percent of their annual income for 15.6 years to afford a $278,337 house. The median home price in the U.S., meanwhile, is $345,800.
So while CNBC reports that 80 percent of millennials want to buy a house someday, most will have to wait longer than previous generations did. According to a 2015 report from Zillow, young adults in the 1970s rented for 2.6 years before buying their first home. In 2015, that wait time was up to 6 years. In the meantime, wannabe homeowners indulge in their mortgage-based dreams by tuning into HGTV. The network remains one of the most-watched channels in the country with a primetime viewership of 1.5 million.