Millennial Homeowners’ Advice to Peers: Get off the Sidelines

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Forward-thinking millennials are buying homes – and they are happy about
it. While “dreamers” reported last year that they wanted to skip the
starter home, Bank
of America’s second annual Homebuyer Insights Report
revealed that
millennials who have taken the plunge into homeownership are buying the
house they can afford now and looking ahead to their ideal home in the
future. In fact, a large majority (68 percent) of millennial homeowners
say their current home is a “stepping stone” to their forever home.

“After years of seeing millennials sit on the sidelines, it’s clear some
are recognizing it might not make sense to wait,” said D. Steve Boland,
Consumer Lending executive for Bank of America. “We talk to younger
buyers every day about homeownership, and they understand the benefits
it can have on their long-term finances. They’re excited to get started
but are taking a thoughtful approach by improving their credit and
building their savings.”

Millennial homeowners are confident they made the right decision in
buying. Nearly 80 percent report homeownership has had a positive impact
on their long-term financial picture. A similar number (86 percent)
believe owning a home is more affordable than renting. This is in sharp
contrast to those consumers who have not yet purchased a home, as they
are split on what’s more affordable: 54 percent say owning, compared to
45 percent who say renting.

In further defining homeownership, these 18- to 34-year-old owners are
more likely than any other generation to associate it with adulthood (39
percent), and least likely to define it as the American dream (16
percent) and permanence (11 percent).

When looking back at their homebuying experience, current owners across
generations would tell their younger selves to start saving sooner (60
percent), consider the maintenance costs and unexpected expenses (42
percent), and create and stick to a budget (35 percent). Twenty-one
percent say buy early to build equity.

Prospective buyers are planning, but not pulling the trigger yet

While they are juggling a variety of financial priorities, including
paying off debts and bills (61 percent), improving credit scores (47
percent) and paying off student loans (32 percent), nearly one in four
prospective buyers see homeownership on the horizon, saying they will
purchase their first home within the next two years. Furthermore, 35
percent say they have started to plan for a down payment.

Almost half of first-time buyers believe they need 20 percent or more of
a home’s price for a down payment, which may be why just 21 percent
think they can currently make one.

“Some prospective first-time homebuyers tend to believe their personal
circumstances should line up perfectly, or that they need a 20 percent
down payment. Yet there are many ways homebuyers can achieve responsible
and sustainable homeownership much sooner than they think,” said Boland.

Experienced buyers say value of homeownership goes beyond dollars and

Just one-third of owners say a home’s value is determined by how much it
cost to purchase. Beyond financial value, current homeowners also see
clear emotional benefits of homeownership, as nearly all say they are
proud of owning (95 percent) and treasure the memories they have made
(91 percent). Only 21 percent say owning a home is a burden.

Furthermore, the majority (82 percent) of experienced buyers look for
ways to make their current home more valuable, and 70 percent spend a
lot of free time working on their home.

For additional information about the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights
Report, visit
For information on home financing, visit

Bank of America Consumer Lending
Bank of America’s Consumer Lending
unit includes First Mortgage, Home Equity, Merrill Lynch Banking, and
Consumer Vehicle Lending. Each business is focused on delivering a
distinctive and consistent client experience through competitive product
offerings, quality loan production, choice of multiple connection and
delivery methods, and operational excellence based on a client’s unique
attributes and relationship with us.

About the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report
This survey was
conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science, using GfK’s
KnowledgePanel®, which yields results that are statistically
representative and projectable to the American population. The survey
was conducted online January 24–February 2, 2017. A total of 4,906
adults age 18+ were surveyed, including 1,268 current homeowners and 435
prospective homeowners. In addition, an augment was conducted to achieve
300 adults in 10 local markets: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas,
Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Miami, St. Louis, and New York. The margin of
sampling error for national data is +/- 3.0 percentage points.

Bank of America
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services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50
states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico
and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE:
BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Reporters May Contact:
Terry Francisco, Bank of America,
Yamamoto, Bank of America, 1.805.526.1910