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Although some industry professionals believed younger Americans would be scarred by the 2008 financial crisis, Zillow’s recent Housing Aspirations report shows younger adults are very optimistic about the investment potential in homes and the real estate market. As of the third quarter this year, 33% of adults aged 18-34 said buying a home was an excellent investment, compared to 29% of prime working-age adults aged 35-54 and 27% of older adults aged 55 and over.

Over the past two years, the share of Americans who view buying a home as an “excellent” investment has been stable. But the share who view real estate overall as an “excellent” investment has been steadily on the rise, propelled upward largely by sentiment among younger adults. More than a quarter of young adults (27 percent) said they view real estate as an “excellent” investment, up from 22 percent in Q1 2017. Young-adult sentiment regarding other investment categories – including stocks, bonds and businesses – has also been on the rise.

While older millennials did see the American economy implode during their formative years, they have also borne witness to a remarkable recovery in home values over the decade since. Separating older millennials[1] – those likely in the labor force at the time of the 2008 financial crisis – from younger millennials (those still in high school or college, or younger, in 2008) it is clear that much of the recent jump in optimism about real estate and other investments has been driven by the youngest adults. Though also up over the past two years, sentiment toward real estate investments has been somewhat more tempered among older millennials.

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