Press releases

New Legal & General study on millennials and housing looks at effects of Covid-19 on millennial home buying plans

Half of millennials said Covid negatively affected their plans; 61% of those already saving said Covid cancelled or delayed their home owning plans

19 Aug 2021

Full press release

Full report

  • 68% of millennials said Covid had some impact on their thinking about where they could live
  • 36% of millennial parents and those already saving for a home want to move to smaller cities/ towns
  • Among U.S. millennials living in suburban areas, 27% completely abandoned their home owning plans due to Covid

New York, NY, August 19, 2021 — Even as a second wave of the pandemic threatens to upend the fragile normalcy people were resuming, the Covid-19 pandemic was already having a profound effect on millennials’ attitudes and realities around housing. Today, the second part of a broad new study conducted by Legal & General Group, U.S. Millennials and Home Ownership – A Distant Dream for Most, digs into the effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on this generation’s attempts to get onto the housing ladder and paints an ongoing picture of the housing difficulties millennials have had and will continue to have in coming months and years.

This second segment of the data-rich study, While Delta Portends Further Disruption, Covid Has Already Thwarted Millennials’ Home Buying Plans, takes a deep dive into the effects of the pandemic on specific demographics within the 25- to 40-year-old U.S. millennial population. And the consequences have been formidable: even as of April/May 2021, 12% of millennials across all age groups said that Covid-19 had caused them to abandon their plans of home ownership completely.

Legal & General’s study looks not only at housing affordability, but also at geographic and demographic choices based on age and life stage, and at various drivers shaping millennials’ attitudes and plans, including Covid-19 and its role in their ability—or inability—to purchase a home. Future segments will look in depth at the wage stagnation and inflation equation; the intergenerational housing gap; home ownership on U.S. Millennials’ bucket list; student debt and the cost of healthcare; and where Millennials stand on retirement and other savings vehicles.

Legal & General Group Chief Executive Nigel Wilson: "With the Delta variant now on the rise in the U.S., it’s key to understand how and whether the pandemic has put the brakes on millennial home buying. Here we see that housing affordability, already an issue for them in big cities and other desirable areas, became further unattainable to people in their mid to late 30s, many of whom opted to return to their hometowns, in some cases even their parents’ houses. This is a societal problem with significant repercussions: millennials form the largest working cohort, yet many can’t get onto the ladder of home ownership."
Study Co-Author and Legal & General Corporate Affairs Director John Godfrey: "Prices for homes in the U.S. have been rising sharply, while wages, particularly for younger workers, have stagnated. With the awareness that Covid has further stymied home buying plans of a significant portion of millennials, lenders and builders alike should be looking toward solutions that will help this demographic get onto the housing ladder."

Media contact

For more information, contact:

Meir Kahtan: +1 917-864-0800

Meir Kahtan Public Relations, LLC

View the original U.S. Millennials and Home Ownership study

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management (as at FY23) of which c40% (circa £0.5 trillion) is international.

We have a highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. We are a leading international player in Institutional Retirement, in Retail Savings and Protection, and in both public and private markets through our Asset Management division. Across the Group, we are committed to responsible investing and dedicated to serving the long-term savings and investment needs of customers and society.

As at 7 June 2024, we estimate the Group’s Solvency II coverage ratio to be 224%.

As at 11 June 2024, Legal & General has a market capitalisation of £14.6 billion.