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High Down Payments Alter Young Homebuyer Priorities

According to the latest Merrill Edge® Report, 63 percent of millennials are looking to achieve the amount of savings or income necessary to live their desired lifestyle, whereas most (55 percent) Gen Xers and baby boomers are instead saving to leave the workforce.

What the survey found is that millennials are more focused on personal achievements, such as dream jobs and travelling, than “traditional,” long term life milestones, such as marriage and parenthood.

“This spring’s report shows us even more differences between how millennials and their parents view and save for the future,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge. “Young adults tell us they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve freedom and flexibility, even if it means working for the rest of their lives. To ensure success, it’s increasingly important these younger generations take a hands-on, goals-based approach to their long-term finances and prioritize saving in the short term.”

This “fear of missing out” philosophy among millennials translates into home purchases. Millennials are less likely than older generations to settle down, and are what some call “adventure movers.”

Their motivations for moving are influenced by a sense of adventure, making these moves relatively short-term," said Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark University. "More than any generation before them, millennials have defined their 20s as a period of freedom and instability. This flexibility allows millennials to make moves in search of new job opportunities or adventures, even if they don't plan to stay in the long run."

The Mayflower Mover Insights Survey found that 41 percent millennials are what they call “vacation movers,” or movers that do not intend to settle permanently. The survey also found that 53 percent of millennials are likely to make a temporary move within the next five years.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan points to high down payments and the amount of time required to save for these payments as another reason for millennials not quite settling yet. Millennials lifestyles change over time, and a lower down payment could make a difference in the long run.

“If you require and 20 percent down payment, it takes more time,” said Moynihan on CNBC.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Profile photo of Seth Welborn
Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.


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