Growing Number of Millennials Plan to Rent Over Buying Home, Study Finds

Renters for life.

A new survey found that while the desire to become homeowners is there, a growing number of millennials plan to never own a home.

One in five plan to rent indefinitely, according to Apartment List.

For a growing number of 20 and 30-somethings, fulfilling that so-called 'American Dream' is feeling more like an increasingly unattainable fantasy, according to an annual survey.

"I'm actually a little bit surprised but then not," said Caralle Gurney, real estate professional with The Mariposa Group.

Gurney sells homes to all generations but is taking note of this:

Rental listing site Apartment List says it has surveyed 10,000 millennials nationwide and found that while most want to become homeowners, 12.3% plan to 'rent for life.'

A percentage that is up from a year ago, according to the site.

In Dallas, 7.1% of millennials plan to 'always rent,' lower than those in Houston and Austin.

"I understand that millennials are savers. They really, thoughtfully do things and they're very simple people and because of that a lot of time renting is a way they prefer to do things," said Gurney. "You might not know where you want to live or maybe you have some family circumstance that you need to save a little bit before you can have a down payment to move somewhere."

The survey found 29% of millennials in Dallas are on track to buy their first home.

But nationally, the vast majority of those who cannot say it's because they simply cannot afford it.

The reasons include not having enough money for a down payment and obstacles like student loan debt and declining financial support from family.

"Not surprising at all. I think it's very realistic. I think it's very understandable and I think it's very unfortunate," said Andrea Malone.

Malone would be considered the 'exception.'

"But for many of my friends and family members that's just not the case with record student debt, wages not increasing that much more than inflation, also with the job market the way that it is," she said. "It's tough out there."

The 33-year-old and her husband bought a home about three years ago, then decided to sell it and are happy renters for now.

"I love renting. I just wish there was some equity somehow that I could build," she said. "Now that we feel the price for homes is just a little bit steep and we are really investment-focused so we're waiting to see if there's a downturn around the corner."

Gurney's advice to millennials determined to make their dream a reality is to search out help from a reputable lender.

"A lot of people don't realize that there are some options for people like all those scenarios you just mentioned," she said.

After all, Gurney says, it's a buyer's market.

"Home prices have been increasing 10-11% a year and now the home prices have slowed," she said.

Another study from mortgage-lender Freddie Mac says the majority of Generation Z, the younger generation, who were kids when the 2008 economic crisis happened are eager to own their own home and plan to buy by the time they're 30.

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