Despite an uncertain housing market, the American Dream of homeownership remains alive and well for modern consumers. The dream has just morphed a little with the times, especially for millennials.
Whether or not homeownership is the sure-fire investment it once was, modern consumers really do want to own their homes. But unlike past generations, they need extra assurance that they won’t be bankrupt by a housing market that’s still regaining its feet. Modern consumers also want some of the new flexibility and control that our modern rental society increasingly promises.
This worldview, at the core of the new American Dream, is supported by results of a new online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of ValueInsured.
Among millennial renters (age 18 to 34):
- Homeownership is important – Nine in 10 say it’s important to one day own their own home, or to become homeowners again.
- But buying a home feels riskier than ever – Almost one-third of millennial renters (30 percent) lack confidence that they would get back their full down payment if they were to buy a home today and need to sell in the next 2-7 years.
- Modern homebuyers want to preserve the flexibility they enjoy as renters – 69 percent of millennial renters say they would buy a home sooner if they had “down payment protection.”
- Knowing the nest egg is protected provides confidence – 81 percent of millennial renters believe down payment protection would give people more confidence in buying a home.
One reason modern consumers expect flexibility and control is that they change jobs and relocate often: The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.6 years overall, and just 3 years for millennials. Consumers also have the relatively new options of car sharing, music streaming and paying for smartphone service as they go.
For prospective homebuyers, flexibility and control means safeguarding their nest egg – their down payment – just as securely as the banks protect their mortgage loans.
“The banks and financial institutions have always been protected from the risks of a fluctuating market,” says Joe Melendez, CEO of ValueInsured. “We’ve entered a new era when the modern homebuyer will also be protected. That’s consumer empowerment – certainly one of the markers of the new American Dream.”