What credit unions can do to help young homebuyers succeed

For generations, homeownership has been synonymous with the American Dream. That is still true to this day but sentiment towards buying a home has shifted, especially for younger generations such as millennials. There are several variables that play into it, cost, of course, being the biggest. For many younger American adults, buying a home is out of reach. So how can a credit union act as a catalyst in changing this narrative? It goes far beyond mortgage rates and inventory.

Millennials (age 23 to 41) take up the lion’s share of generations in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were just north of 72 million millennials in the U.S. as of 2019. So, it’s not surprising that millennials represent 43% of homebuyers—the most of any generation. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found in its 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report three areas of concern from millennials when it comes to the home-buying process: finding the right property, understanding the process, and saving for the down payment, respectively.

Speaking as a millennial myself, the part about saving for a down payment and other costs rings true. A Bankrate survey found that over half of older millennials (ages 32 to 41) who had dreams of buying a home were unable to afford the downpayment and closing costs more than any other age group. As a credit union, part of the mission is to help your members achieve their financial aspirations, including homeownership. So, you must ask yourself this: “How can our credit union shepherd younger generations toward buying a home?”


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