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Even in today's hot housing market, Northwest Millennials still dream of owning a home

June 15, 2021 by PEMCO Insurance

As housing markets across the country continue to sizzle, would-be homebuyers in the Pacific Northwest haven't given up hope on owning a home quite yet. According to the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance, a majority of those who don't currently own their home say they still aspire to someday, despite the obstacles facing younger potential buyers, in particular.  

According to the poll, nearly two-thirds of Seattle-area residents and almost half of Portland residents who don't currently own their home, say they're at least somewhat likely to buy a house in the coming years. Of them, about half (60%) are younger Gen Z or Millennial-generation buyers under the age of 35 who face vastly different realities than their older counterparts, but who still value the prospect of owning their home.

"We often hear that Millennials and Gen Z-ers have different desires and motivations than their older counterparts, valuing experiences over things, for example. But our poll shows that may not be the case when it comes to home ownership – younger people still find value in buying a home, even if they have different ideals than other generations," said PEMCO spokesperson Derek Wing.

However, even if younger generations want to own their digs one day, many believe they may not be able to for financial reasons. About three-quarters of Seattleites (78%) and Portlanders (77%) of all ages agree that compared to young adults in previous generations, today's young adults are less likely to be able to afford their own a home.

Among aspiring homeowners, residents in both Seattle and Portland confirm that cost is the most significant barrier to owning a home with a majority citing down payment, mortgage costs or loan requirements as the primary obstacle to a real estate purchase.

Very few respondents – just 17% in Seattle and 18% in Portland – say their primary reason for not owning a home is so they can spend that money elsewhere. Even fewer – only 6% of Seattleites and 13% – of Portlanders shared they'd rather have the freedom to move from place to place at their leisure.

For a complete summary of PEMCO's proprietary poll results visit, where you'll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in February 2021.


About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Mutual Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 400 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 400 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range. 

About PEMCO Mutual Insurance

PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more. 

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