It’s a cliché to say that homeownership is the American dream. For generations, it was a milestone that people aspired to and generally went without question. But a storyline in recent years – especially following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 – has been the reluctance of the millennial generation to adopt that version of the American dream.
Some factors that have kept millennials out of the housing market include waiting for job prospects and security to improve, paying off debts unique to their generation (such as student loans) and overall reluctance.
"There was a big psychological hurdle of just learning to trust the market and these institutions that (millennials) are innately skeptical of," says Milwaukee Magazine managing editor Dan Simmons.
But there are signs that may be changing, at least for some in the Milwaukee area. According to a series of articles in the March issue of the magazine, millennials made up thirty-percent of buyers in 2015.
This trend was very unexpected, says senior editor Matt Hrodey. "We've been used to, for many years now, doing one grim real estate story after another," says Hrodey. "It's surprising to get an actual upward curve like that."