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The millennial generation: renting for life or home ownership?

In the UAE, only around a quarter of millennials are homeowners

For many of us, our life goals revolve around getting an education, building a successful career, starting a family and buying that dream home; perhaps a townhouse with a garden or a modern loft apartment. Whatever your preference, owning a home is usually high on the list of priorities for most of us.

For the millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, the desire to own a home is still very much alive. A survey in the US has found that not only do millennials plan to own a home, but they also plan to own multiple homes throughout their lifetime: 68 percent of millennials say their current home is merely a stepping stone towards buying the home they truly want, compared with 36 percent of homeowners across all generations.

In Germany, the proportion of the population who own their own home is just 52 percent. However, here in the UAE, it is estimated that only 26 percent of millennials are homeowners and among those who don’t, 80 percent intend to buy a home in the next five years.

As the statistics reflect, choosing between buying a home and renting one is a hard decision for many millennials living in the UAE. Purchasing a property depends very much on whether you are in a financial position to invest and there are several things to consider when deciding between renting and owning a home. Once you have made the decision to buy a house, you feel settled. Buying a house also opens up opportunities to generate revenue as a landlord and acts as a long-term financial investment.

Millennials around the world

Despite this, and depending on where you live in the world, millennial homeownership rates vary considerably. In the UK, new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies states that millennial homeownership rates have dropped from 73 percent a decade ago, to just 63 percent today. For millennials, the ownership rate in the UK has collapsed even more noticeably, mainly due to fast-rising house prices and slow growth in wages.

This is particularly true of the mid-market segment, an area that many developers are targeting with smaller-sized properties and lower prices. Due to the various payment options, there appears to be an increasing number of tenants with the ability to become homeowners due to the affordability factor, something that had not been an option for many millennials in the UAE.

Willing to sacrifice

Many times, millennials find themselves in other financial commitments and, therefore, delay their decision of home ownership.

According to a recent report, in order to own their dream home, many millennials are willing to consider making sacrifices such as reduced spending on leisure activities, delaying having children, buying with a family member or a friend in a non-preferred location that is smaller in size and also giving out one room for rent to be able to pay the mortgages.

On one hand, renting makes sense for those looking for a short-term commitment; you can easily relocate should you change jobs and there are fewer upfront costs when you rent.

Due to the increase in supply over the last 12 months and the forecasted supply for the remainder of the year, more and more millennials in the UAE are looking to take advantage of low prices and buying instead of renting. This is particularly true of the mid-market segment, an area that many developers are targeting with smaller-sized properties and lower prices. Due to the various payment options, there appears to be an increasing number of tenants with the ability to become homeowners due to the affordability factor, something that had not been an option for many millennials in the UAE.

If you are from the millennial generation, like the previous generations, you have a decision to make when it comes to how you prefer to live. For those that prefer flexibility, renting often makes more sense, while those who are looking for a more long-term investment option would opt to buy.

The main deciding factor is often the state of your financial situation and whether you are in a position to make a long-term financial commitment. In order to achieve this, you should explore a mortgage solution designed to fit your individual needs.

Source: Gulf News, 2018

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Elite been developing residential projects in the UAE for the past decade. With ten residential towers successfully completed we have handed over 3,500 apartments to our customers.

Ten Completed Towers
3,500 Occupied Apartments
3 Billion AED Elite Stock Sold
Leading Independently Financed Developer