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A new survey of Greater Boston residents has found that while area homeowners are generally optimistic about their ability to sell their home and buy a new one, Millennials are much less confident.

The Pulsenomics Transaction Sentiment Index, covering the first quarter 2019, reported that Boston area Millennials scored a -1 on a scale of -100 (extremely pessimistic) to 100 (extremely optimistic). Millennial homeowners surveyed scored a +23, lower than the +32 score reported for homeowners of all ages but substantially higher than the -18 score reported for Millennial renters, the segment most likely to be first-time homebuyers. Boston renters of all ages scored a -9.

The results mark a steady erosion in Millennial renters’ confidence in their ability to buy in the Boston market since the third quarter of 2015, having dropped a full 47 points since then. While current area homeowners’ faith in their ability to buy a new home have also slowly declined, as well, it has only shrunk by a mere 12 points over the same period, and has increased 2 points since the third quarter of 2018.

The Pulsenomics survey was part of its nationwide Housing Confidence Survey, completed by 15,500 households across the country, including 500 households in the Boston area.

Nationally, homeowners expect their homes to continue gaining in value, and both renters and homeowners are slightly more optimistic about their ability to buy and sell their homes from the third quarter of last year.

“Moderating home price growth, falling mortgage rates, and solid wage gains in Q1 have stoked housing expectations and homeownership aspirations,” Pulsenomics founder Terry Loebs said in a statement. “Although our research confirms significant variation in housing confidence and transaction sentiments by market and household category, overall, these latest index data point to an improving balance of power between real estate buyers and sellers. Across the larger markets we track, home-selling sentiment has weakened a bit in recent months, but the majority of homeowners still believe that, where they live, now is a good time to sell a home. At the same time, a years-long downward trend in homebuying sentiment has come to a halt, as prospective purchasers have been encouraged by the combination of slower price growth and low mortgage rates.”

Survey Finds Boston Millennials Pessimistic About Ability to Buy Homes

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min