12.3 million young adults still live with their mothers.
According to Zillow Research, 22.5 percent of young adults, those aged 24 to 36 years, still live with their mothers in 2018. That number has risen sharply since 2005, when 13.5 percent reporting living with their mothers. This age demographic, the Millennial generation, has battled a number of significant challenges in finding work, paying off student loan debt, and making their way through the housing and financial meltdowns in the mid 2000’s.
“Predictably, the share of young adults unable or unwilling to flee the nest increased during the housing bust and economic downturn, as they graduated into a weak economy where jobs were difficult to obtain,” observed Zillow economist Sarah Mikhitarian. She added, however, “Even since the depths of the recession and throughout an otherwise fairly robust recovery, a growing share of Millennials are staying at home with mom instead of breaking out on their own. This persistent…trend is particularly striking because the economy has rebounded since the Great Recession and unemployment rates in general are near historic lows.”
The cause of this trend appears to be a lack of affordable housing in many markets that attract Millennials. For example, in Los Angeles, California, more than a third of Millennials live with their parents, and that number hovers around 35 percent for Miami, Florida; Riverside, California, and Stockton, California, where the average household spends more than 40 percent of its annual income on rent.
Investor Insight: The “young adult” population is positioned to begin forming new households later in life, and investors who offer affordable options may be in high demand.
Another issue keeping Millennials at home with mom is likely a lack of confidence in their ability to buy. National Mortgage News reported this week that only about 35 percent of Millennial first-time homebuyers say that they can afford a down payment, down 9 percent from a year ago. This number is important because it does not reflect the number of homebuyers in this demographic who can afford a down payment, but shows instead that more than two-thirds are voluntarily ruling themselves out, possibly without verifying that they are, indeed, unable to purchase a home.
Zillow conducted the research by analyzing the data in the American Community Survey and removing from the list Millennials remaining at home in order to complete schooling but including those whose mother (or both parents) live with them. The population living with their mothers includes two-parent households as well as single-parent households.