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Why Austin Millennials Aren't Buying Homes, Even if They Want To

A new study breaks down the affordability crisis faced by a generation

All kinds of theories have been floated about why millennials—some of whom are pushing 40 if commonly used generational timelines are to be believed—aren't buying more homes. Some point to a crisis in confidence; others credit a shift in preference from roomy digs with lots of stuff in them to small, lower-maintenance places with central-city convenience.

While both those things might be true in a sort of grand way, a just-released study on's "Rentomomics" blog reveals some more basic truths: The majority of millennials do want to buy homes, though some do want to wait, but the biggest obstacle they face is the fact that they can't afford them.

Rentonomics surveyed of more than 30,000 renters in its analysis of of 93 metro areas and 130 cities in the United States and found those things to be overwhelmingly the case throughout the country.

What that means locally is that 82% of millennial renters in the Austin metro want to purchase a home, but affordability is the biggest obstacle they face, according to the study. While 79% of millennial renters in Austin say they cannot afford to buy, 43% also said they are waiting to be married, and 43% are not ready to settle down.

The issue is further complicated by the age group's low savings rate. The "Rentonomics" study found that millennial renters in the Austin metro have saved only $2,910 for the downpayment on a home, on average. Based on current saving rates, the blog elaborates, it will take 10 years for them to afford a home.

You can read the full study here.

The Affordability Crisis: What Happens When Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Homes? [ApartmentList "Rentonomics" blog]

Millennials Have Crisis in Confidence Over Homeownership [Curbed]

High-Tech Millennial Lifestyle Inspires Micro Apartment Boom [Curbed]