Elizabeth and Dmitriy Shenker were tired of handing over their hard-earned cash to a landlord.
So when they went searching last year for a place to live on Staten Island, they chose to buy a detached single-family home for $810,000 in a new development in Prince’s Bay.
“The interest rates are really good right now, and prices have been creeping up over the last few years. While that makes it more difficult to buy, it also makes it a little more appealing,” said Dmitriy Shenker, a branch chief for the Department of Homeland Security.
“When you rent, the money goes from your pocket into the air; when you’re paying a mortgage, you have an investment,” he added, noting his wife works as a business engagement manager for Pearson Education.
The Shenkers, both 32 years old, are part of a new wave of millennial home buyers who are boosting the housing market. For the first time in 13 years, twenty- and thirty-somethings have proven to be a driving force in the U.S. housing market.
Home Ownership Rates
Nationally, the home-ownership rate rose to 64.2 percent during the last quarter of 2017 — up from 63.7 percent during the same time in 2016, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data.
And the number of homes owned by people under age 35 rose to 36 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017 — up from 34.7 percent over the same period the previous year, Census Data shows.
The trend is prevalent among Staten Island home buyers, experts say.
“Millennials as a whole are expressing great interest in owning a home,” said Ron Molcho, director of the Staten Island Board of Realtors and a broker with American Homes Group. “We have seen a steady uptick over the past two years. They [millennials] have surpassed the baby boomers as the largest sector of buyers. They are looking to settle down, get out of renting and start building equity.”
Like the Shenkers, many millennials say rising rent prices have caused them to save up and sink their money into a home.