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Resourceful millennials approach market in different ways

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As the largest generation of homebuyers, millennials are transforming the housing market and the way the process goes, according to a new report, Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends 2017.

In previous generations, buyers used to search until they found “the one,” at which point they’d submit an offer that fit their budget and hope for the best. Now, with cutthroat competition and saddled with unprecedented amounts of student loans, many millennial buyers — 53 percent — make multiple offers.

Further, only 39 percent of millennials are financially able to make a down payment of 20 percent or more, which is typically recommended, and 21 percent make a down payment of 5 percent or less. But even that may be difficult for many buyers, as the report found that 29 percent of millennial buyers turn to family or friends for help on a down payment, and 31 percent gather funds for a down payment from multiple sources.

“In many cities across the US, the housing market is extremely competitive, especially for first-time buyers who are looking to purchase a starter home,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Young buyers often start their careers in fast-growing cities in which the market is particularly tough — and they’re trying to save for a down payment while making record-high rent payments.”

And because millennials are often facing such unfavorable odds, many keep their options open. The Zillow report showed that 62 percent also shop for rental housing while looking for a home to buy because they know that, for instance, even if they’re able to come up with a down payment and put together an attractive offer, it just may not be enough due to the market’s low levels of inventory and high level of competition.

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