Millennials Transitioned from Renter-Majority to Owner-Majority in 2022

Article originally posted on Builder Online on March 29, 2023

In the Last Five Years, the Number of Millennial Homeowners Increased by 7.1 Million, Reaching 18.2 Million in 2022.

In 2022, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. to transition from renter-majority to owner-majority, according to new data from RentCafe. With 52% of millennials owning a home, the generation reached 18.2 million homeowners in 2022, increasing 7.1 million in the last five years.

Millennials passed the renter-majority title to Gen Z, who gained nearly 4.5 million renters in the last five years, leading the renter share at 74% with 5.6 million renter households in 2022. All other generations lost renters, including millennials who still managed to stay dominate with 17.1 million renter households in 2022.

While later than their parents and grandparents, when millennials became an owner-majority generation in 2022, the average millennial was 34 years old. Gen X reached homeownership at an average age of 32 and boomers at the average age of 33. Today, baby boomers are the largest group of homeowners at 32.1 million versus 9.1 million renters, but have seen a decline in 354,000 new owner households in the last five years.

From 2017 to 2022, as millennials increased homeownership by 64%, the addition of 7.1 million households exceeded the sum of all other generations combined. In the same time frame, Gen X gained 1.9 million new owner households, and Gen Z gained 1.6 million, representing a 455% rise.

Aiding millennials in their jump to homeownership, the generation reached a historically high median income in 2022 at $108,000 per year, up 44% compared with five years earlier. Gen Z followed with a 33% rise in median income and Gen X with 25%.

Geographically, the number of millennial homeowners increased by 90% in New York in the last five years, 41.1% in Los Angeles, and 75.6% in Chicago. Richmond, Virginia, saw the highest jump of millennial owners at 234% in the last five years, followed by Las Vegas at 158% and Milwaukee at 157%.

In terms of renting, Cleveland (85%); Raleigh, North Carolina (85%); San Jose, California (nearly 50%); and San Diego (nearly 50%) saw the highest increases of millennial renters between 2017 and 2022. New York gathered the highest percentage of Gen Z renters during the last five years with an 892% increase, while all other generations, including millennials, decreased.