BY ANTHONY SANFILIPPO/ National Association of REALTORS®
Ten Million Americans said last month that their top financial goal for 2019 is to buy a home.
While that might sound like a large number – and it is, making up about four percent of all adult Americans, including seven percent of all millennials – a majority of Americans are either pragmatic or pessimistic about reaching their goals.
That’s because 55 percent of Americans do not believe their financial situation in 2019 will be better than it was in 2018, – 12% who think it will be worse.
This data, from a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, does trend optimistically in some areas as 44 percent of Americans expect their financial situation to improve, with that number increasing to 59 percent among millennials.
With millennials making up a majority of the housing market, as 36% of all home buyers are between the ages of 22 and 37 according to data provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, there is reason to believe that some of these goals – especially for that younger generation – will come to fruition.
There are plenty of challenges that millennials face in terms of buying a home – namely college debt, but optimists in the cohort cited higher wages and higher returns on investments among the reasons for their improved financial situation.
However, the goals of buying a home this year aren’t just for millennials. Some older Americans also made it a priority. That might be because they think the time is right and the market is ripe to downsize. Still others are looking to buy a new home because it could go hand-in-hand with them furthering their careers.
Two percent of Gen-Xer’s (Age 38-54) said that buying a new home was their top priority, while five percent of Baby Boomers (Age 55-75) said that making a home purchase topped their list.
However, it should be noted that not one responder from the Silent Generation (Age 76+) said buying a home was a top financial goal for 2019.
The survey also found that 90 percent have at least one specific financial goal that they’d like to carry out within the next year. Other goals besides purchasing a home that respondents identified for 2019 were paying down debt (30 percent), improving on budgeting (13 percent), saving for retirement (12 percent), saving for a rainy day (10 percent), finding a higher paying job (six percent) and investing more (five percent). The remaining eight percent cited other goals.