According to the CoreLogic Loan Application Database, prior to 2020, while millennial home purchase applications comprised less than half of all purchase applications, their share grew from 33% in 2014 to 47% in 2019, rising about 2 to 4 percentage points per year. This annual increase is consistent with the cohort of millennials reaching 33 years of age, the peak homebuying age.
But in 2020, the share of millennials in the homebuying market soared 7 percentage points in 2020, reaching 54% of all purchase applications (Figure 1). And while half of the increase is consistent with the natural growth rate seen since 2014, the additional half of the 2020 jump was likely driven by the pandemic. In other words, the increase was accelerated by record low mortgage interest rate and flexibility to work remotely.
Figure 2 shows U.S. population distribution by age, highlighting the largest demographic cohort reaching the peak age of FTHB on the left axis. The right axis of the chart, displayed by the green line, represents first-time home-purchase loan applications per 1,000 persons in 2020.
Younger millennials below 30 have yet to enter homeownership, so demand from millennials is likely to remain strong over the coming years. At the same time, more older millennials are likely to transition to repeat homebuyers. The share of millennial repeat buyer home-purchase applications was already 35% in 2020, just 4 percentage points lower than Gen X’ share.