According to The Washington Post, the millennial generation is now the largest in history. In fact, CNN reports that millennials outnumber baby boomers by 11 million. The Brookings Institution gives the statistic that millennials will comprise more than 1 in 3 adult Americans by 2020.
This generational shift is having an impact in all sectors of our economy, including the market for rental properties and housing in general. Therefore, it’s important for landlords to understand the values of younger Americans, trends in millennial renters and why they choose to rent over buying their first home.
Background of Millennials
The Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1997, making them 18 to 34 in 2015. According to NPR, millennials are the most educated generation, but the stigma of being overeducated and underemployed isn’t valid. NPR reports that two thirds of millennials over the age of 25 are not college graduates, and that their peers with college degrees earn, on average, $17,500 more annually.
Growing up in an era of rapid change, millennials have vastly different priorities, expectations, and values than those of prior generations. According to research on millennial behaviors conducted at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, this is a generation of digital natives and multitaskers. They prioritize flexibility and convenience, and prefer to keep their options open. Millennials value work-life balance, and refuse to sacrifice their health or leisure time, even for higher salaries.