Forbes has said that millennials are victim to an eight per cent unemployment rate and their collective student loan debt totals $1 trillion (over £702 billion).
What do millennials desire in a property? As such, there isn’t much of a foundation for millennials to be able to save money to buy houses and with the rising cost of property, particularly in London, it seems that millennials are one of the groups least likely to become homeowners.
The home-ownership rate for 18 to 34-year olds has fallen to just 13.2 per cent, according to statistics from Forbes. Instead, millennials are now becoming a generation of renters, partly due to financial restrictions.
However, there is evidence to suggest that millennials actually prefer to rent property, instead of banking it into a long-term house or apartment. Many of the reasons why they prefer to rent instead of buy have nothing to do with money at all.
Free extras and building perks
Lots of trendy apartment buildings, particularly in London, have free extras or amenities that come with the privilege of living in that building.
An example of some of these extras would be a gym, an underground car park, a doorman or perhaps a game room or movie screening room. These are all things that a millennial won’t have in their own house or apartment, or will have to pay for as extra life expenses.
Property developers are now tending to build apartment complexes and small houses with this type of renter in mind and it’s very common now to see buildings popping up that advertise a free concierge or gym service while they’re under construction.
A sense of community
As has been covered extensively before, millennials love to be connected to each other and feel like they’re part of a group. Fomo, or fear of missing out, is a big part of a millennial’s decision to do something, whether it be going out for dinner or listening to a song by somebody they don’t like, just to have an opinion on it.
In much the same way, millennials enjoy the community of apartment buildings, particularly those that mainly feature studio apartments and so have common kitchens, libraries or recreation rooms.
Renting a flat in a city like London also means that the millennial is always close to culture and nightlife, which they wouldn’t be if they were living in the suburbs. However, the beauty of renting is such that if a millennial thinks they would like to move to the suburbs permanently, they can first rent a property to see if it suits their needs.
Freedom of flexibility
What we have just described above is the freedom of flexibility that renting offers to millennials. For example, having issues with noisy or difficult neighbours is a primary concern for any living situation. However, the problem is remedied much more easily in a renting situation than if the millennial owns the house or flat in which they are living.
By renting on a short-term contract, millennials are free to leave behind any issues that they might have with a property, which isn’t as easy when you’re tied into a 20-year mortgage on a house.
The freedom to travel
Similarly to flexibility, renting an apartment or house leaves a millennial much more free to make big life decisions and changes.
If things aren’t feeling so exciting in one place, there is always the option to up sticks and go travelling for a year around Europe or the Americas. In much the same way, if a job offer comes up in New York, then it’s much easier to get out of a rental agreement, rather than having to deal with selling a house from overseas.
Millennials are generally considered to be a group of people who are ambitious and crave travel, so this could indeed be one of the main reasons why they love to rent property.
If something breaks or stops working in a rented property, then it’s time to pick up the phone and complain to a landlord who will send someone round to fix the problem for you.
This doesn’t happen with bought property, although things might get done a bit more quickly and quite a bit better, the expense is at the hands of the landlord and not of the millennial themselves.
People and millennials who rent property are able to keep DIY and home improvements off their to-do lists, unlike homeowners who often have to block off weekends of time to fix problems in the house or update aspects of their property.
Millennials tend to have very active lifestyles with many social elements, so the draw of a rented apartment that someone else can fix will be a very attractive option indeed.