Generation Renter

This younger cohort could create a demand for apartments that could overwhelm supply.

The challenges of high home prices and rising interest rates that confront millennials anxious to start their own households could force them to remain renters for longer and create a demand for apartments that could overwhelm supply, according to a new report from real estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap.

People in the 28 to 34-year old age group, who traditionally transitioned to home ownership at this age, are likely to be forced to remain renters because of the conditions in the single-family market, the analysis found. Even though the pace of home buying in early 2023 slowed to its lowest rate since the pandemic, this did not result in price relief, as available listings remained low and owners with low-rate mortgages decided to hang on to their homes instead of moving up the property ladder.

By obstructing the natural flow of mid-30 year olds from renting to home ownership, the supply of available apartments for rent to a younger cohort could be squeezed as well, the report notes. “These dynamics showcase the imperative need for new apartments to be built, which is in line with the record number of rental units expected to be completed in 2023,” it states. Even with the new construction coming online, developers will need to keep pace with demand over the long term.

However, the report notes that some construction indicators signal a slowing of development in the medium term. 

“Project permits across single and multifamily housing were down more than 25 percent year over year in 2023. Various estimates indicate that the U.S. is facing a shortage of millions of homes over the next decade, making a slowdown in development a counteractive trend,” the report states. “While the number of projects underway is sizable, a slowdown could begin to be reflected beyond 2024.”

At the same time, the kind of apartments millennials will look for is likely to change. “Those with growing families could favor suburban options in locales with preferred school districts,” the report notes. Those who delay marriage and families could be attracted to well-located luxury apartments.

Either way, the American concept of what is a “home” could be about to change.

Source: GlobeSt.

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