Trulia: Family tradition matters to upcoming homeowners

Mortgage

Family traditions strongly influence the homeownership rate of future generations, a study from Trulia shows.

Using over four decades of data from the University of Michigan’s Panel Study Income Dynamics, the real estate listing service discovered that children who grew up in a home where their parents owned are almost three-times more likely to buy a home as adults.

The trend tends to become a tradition. Someone who is 40, has a household income of $100,000 annually and grew up in a family-owned home is 79% likely to become a homeowner. This is compared to a 56% chance for someone in the same position whose parents rented.

This correlation could explain homeownership among Millennials is so low. Those aged 19 to 34 are less likely than other generations to have grown up in a home owned by their parents. Whereas 53.1% of Millennials grew up in owned households, 58.9% of those ages 35 to 45 grew up in owned households.

On the other hand, whereas Millennial homeownership is lower than previous generations, it is increasing at a faster rate.

Also notable, is that 58.3% of those who grew up in owned homes received some kind of financial assistance from their parents. This is up from the 32.3% of those who grew up in rentals. Also, 11.4% whose parents owned received financial help for a down payment, whereas only 2.6% of those who grew up in rentals got down-payment assistance.

But even among adults who haven’t received any financial assistance, those who grew up in an owned home were still more likely to own themselves. Someone who is 25 years old and has a household income of $40,000 has about a 12% chance of owning a home if their parents rented during all of that person’s childhood. On the other hand, this same 25 year-old would have a 29% chance of owning a home if their parents owned during their childhood.

This gap only increases with age. A 40 year-old with the same income has a 28% chance of owning a home if their parents rented while the same person would have a 53% chance of owning if their parents owned their home.

If age and income both increase, however, childhood housing status begins to have less of an impact on chances of ownership. In a $250,000-income household, someone who is 40 has a 90% chance of owning even if their parents rented when they were young, and a 96% chance of owning if their parents did own.

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