Millennials have a higher housing turnover rate, study finds

Register now

Millennial homeowners and renters are more likely to stay in their home for a shorter period of time than similar aged people of previous generations, according to a new Zillow report.

Nationwide, the share of young adults that lived in a home for less than two years before moving in 2017 was 45.3%, compared with 33.8% for Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 in 1960.

For those young adults that were homeowners in 2017, 30.9% moved within two years, versus 23.5% of the same cohort in 1960. Similarly, among renters, it was 54% in 2017 as opposed to 47.2% in 1960.

"Shifting demographic headwinds and evolving workplace norms have significantly altered the housing decisions of young adults today," Sarah Mikhitarian, senior economist at Zillow, said in a press release. "Untethered from family and enticed by new job opportunities, young adults are more mobile today than they have been over the past nearly 60 years."

"Instead of getting married or starting a family in their early to mid-20s as was the norm in past decades, many are waiting until they are established in their careers. And the typical career trajectory has fundamentally changed since the 1960s as well — rather than climbing a corporate ladder, many are choosing to hop from one role or function to the next, often requiring a move to a new location."

However, most of those that decided to relocate after a short period are staying in the same vicinity. More than half, 53.5%, of millennials are staying in the same metro area, perhaps to be closer to work or moving into a larger residence to accommodate a growing family, Mikhitarian said.

Yet data shows that household formations are outpacing new single-family construction with just seven new properties added to the market for every 10 new family units, according to Fitch.

While not as pronounced, there is a similar pattern of movement with those aged between 35 and 44. In 1960, 20% of this age group moved within two years of establishing residence; for 2017 that was up to 25%.

But older cohorts were less likely to relocate shortly after moving in.

For those between 45 and 54, it was 15% in 1960 and 16% in 2017, and between 55 and 64, it was 12% and 11%, respectively.

For those 65 and up, 11% relocated within a two-year period in 1960. That percentage fell to 6% between 1990 and 2000, before rising to 8% by 2017.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Housing market Purchase Multifamily Gig economy Zillow