Millennials have been called many things, but don’t call them pessimists. They reject the gloom and doom of the generations before them. (Lighten up, Generation X!) They are more hopeful, surveys suggest—convinced that their prospects for the future, including homeownership, will only improve.
Their ambition to buy their own homes is strong (at least, those who are old enough to buy: the older millennials, ages 25 to 34), even if they temporarily are driven back to the basements of their parents’ homes.
But despite coming of age in some of the worst economic circumstances in generations, these millennials are now mostly prospering, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of®, said during an hour-long town hall on Monday night titled “Millennials and the Housing Market.”
“It’s so 2012 to say that they are down on their luck,” Smoke quipped during the event hosted by George Washington University in the nation’s capital and streamed online.
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, the featured guest at the town hall, shared the optimism. Never mind that the rate of homeownership is at its lowest in nearly a half-century—Castro said his department is working to reverse the slide.
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