Pete Saloutos

Factors such as high student debt and changing family dynamics may have kept millennials on the home-buying sidlelines to date, but home builders themselves may prove the next impediment. Builders are not widely constructing the small-scale, affordable homes that millennials can buy. TIME staffer Denver Nicks takes a look at the reluctance to build homes for this growing demographic despite surveys indicating that they would like to be homeowners.

Entry level properties have recently only accounted for 20% of new construction recently, a 33% decrease from the pre-recession number of 30%. Current trends also suggest that the construction industry may be better of not building for this generation despite surveys saying they want to own homes:

The under-35 cohort also marries and has children later in life than previous generations, thus delaying the powerful home-buying incentive of needing to put put down roots and live in something other than a tiny apartment. But that’s not all. Many millennials prefer to live in urban areas, where regulatory costs, plus the price of materials and labor, drive up home prices, making it more attractive for builders to put up fewer large dwellings rather than more small ones.

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