Alton, IL

Homeownership For Millenials Increasing, But Not In Illinois

Story by WBGZ Radio

Bucking a trend dating to the Great Recession, Millenials are starting to buy more homes. Good news for the nation, but what about Illinois, which young people are fleeing in droves? 

Home purchases by Americans ages 18-35 have been dropping for more than a decade. However, a report by apartment-finding service ABODO found that young home-buyers nationwide have accounted for the largest increase in home purchases in the last couple months. The largest spikes are in smaller cities and towns. ABODO Senior Communications Director Sam Radbil says young people have typically been renters by choice.

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"You live in a place, you pay your rent and you're very mobile," he said. "The millennial renter-by-choice mindset is more of a flexibility type of mindset. It's all about the ability to do more with your money and your time in general."

This shift could mean a significant boost for the housing industry, but it could also mean a bigger separation in the recovery between Illinois and other states. According to IRS data, the state lost more than 80,000 residents ages 18-35 between 2011 and 2015. 

And with one of the lowest percentages of Millennial home-ownership in the Midwest, Radbil said Illinois' higher housing costs are likely to be what's making would-be homeowners continue to rent. Little more than a third of the state's millenials own a home, according to the report.


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