We’ve been discussing a few myths about the coveted Millennial homebuyer over the past few weeks. I’m a Millennial myself, so I’m amused by some of the conversations I overhear about ways to market mortgage loans to that generation. This week, I’d like to tackle the myth that Millennials simply want nothing to do with mortgages—or loans of any kind, for that matter.
One of the grand stereotypes about Millennials is that somehow we are all single, worldly, cosmopolitan urbanites who only want to live downtown (or else travel the world), start our own businesses, eat non-GMO foods (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and live on a cash basis. We’re all about the experience over the dollar—or so goes the myth.
And maybe there’s some truth to that. After all, most of us have grown up having faced now three major recessions. We’ve heard about (and, for many of us, experienced first-hand) the challenges of having student debt. Some of us watched our parents or friends forced to move when they or their parents lost jobs in the Great Recession. So it would certainly be warranted if more Millennials than not had a bias against taking loans.
That said, we also value stability and security. We do value homeownership. And most of us can’t afford to buy a house in cash. So there’s more than a little utility to taking a mortgage!
A recent poll on Global Web Index (published in April, 2019) showed that “money is certainly important to millennials, with roughly 1 in 2 saying money is the best measure of success.”
The article also noted that older Millennials, as they approach greater financial wherewithal and start to desire a homestead of their own, recognize that mortgages are the way to do that…
“They are, however, generally more comfortable borrowing money, with 34% agreeing with this statement compared to 27% of Gen Zs. This seems to be more of an older millennial trait, who are 20% more likely to agree than average.”
There are other polls, surveys and stats out there that corroborate this, but you came here to read a blog, not a full-blown white paper. So take it from me as well. I grew up in this industry, having worked in my family-owned title agency for years before striking out on my own to launch Lodestar. We desire homeownership, security and stability. As we (gracefully, I’d hope) age, we’re not all about mountain climbing in Tibet or communal living in the wilds of Montana. We, too, treasure homeownership.
But perhaps we’re just a little more careful about signing on the dotted line. After what we saw as an industry from 2007 – 2010….isn’t that a good thing? If anything, it makes the lives of our underwriters a little easier. And perhaps it opens up new product options (as we are seeing with the rise in popularity of the 15-year mortgage).
So don’t write us off as being unwilling to take on a mortgage from a generational perspective. Your competitor will be glad you did!
What do you believe to be the biggest myths about Millennials with regard to homeownership and mortgage lending? Please share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.