Millennial Trend of Co-Buying Homes Soars 771% in 7 Years – How It Works

Roomates preparing breakfast together in a Berlin Wohngemeinschaften.
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When it comes to homeownership, millennials are trailing behind older generations. At the age of 30, 42% of millennials own homes, compared to 48% of Gen Xers and 51% of baby boomers, according to Apartment List’s 2021 Millennial Homeownership Report. However, millennials are taking a different route than their predecessors when it comes to homeownership — by pooling finances with roommates, friends or partners.

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Data from real estate analytics firm Attom Data Solution shows that the number of co-buyers with different last names increased by 771% between 2014 and 2021, reports The Wall Street Journal. The pandemic only accelerated this trend.

Between April and June 2020, 11% of buyers of all ages groups purchased as an unmarried couple and 3% as “other” or roommates, according to the National Association of Realtors and as reported by the WSJ. These numbers increased from 9% and 2%, respectively, from the previous year.

Many millennials are putting off marriage and having children; however, not all of them want to live alone.

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“A lot of them want to live in a communal setting, but they have enough money and they’re looking around at the increase in real-estate prices, and they want to get a foothold in this appreciating market,” Andy Sirkin, a real-estate attorney specializing in co-ownership, explains to the WSJ.

When it comes to ownership agreements, a joint tenancy is more popular amongst unmarried partners or family members, allowing owners to pass their ownership rights to their co-owners in the event of death, the WSJ reports. Friends and roommates typically choose a tenancy-in-common agreement, so that ownership rights are passed down to heirs.

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Co-buyers must also consider how to divide equity and mortgage payments. Experts also advise buyers to consult a real estate attorney to help draft a co-ownership agreement, the WSJ noted, from personal fallouts, job loss and everything in between.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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