Skip to main content
Hometap home

Hometap Survey Finds Millennial Homeowners Most Burdened by Debt, Homeownership Costs

December 8, 2021

BOSTON, Mass. – December 8, 2021 – Millennials are spending the highest percentage of their monthly income on homeownership costs compared to other generations and are at the greatest risk of becoming house-rich and cash-poor, according to a new report by home equity investment provider Hometap. With real estate values remaining high nationwide, millennials are also the least likely to know how much equity they have in their homes or how to calculate it.

In addition to generational differences, the survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners also found that 47% of respondents’ finances have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, while 77% carry at least some form of debt or financial liability. Millennials (83%) are also far more likely to carry debt than baby boomers (72%). As a result, more than a quarter of all homeowners say they plan to maintain a tighter budget until their debts are paid.

“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and residential real estate values remain near record levels, homeowners – especially millennials – have a great deal of equity tied up in their properties but are wary of taking on debt to access it,” said Jonathan MacKinnon, VP of Product Strategy & Business Development at Hometap, which provides a smart, debt-free option for tapping into home equity. “With the total cost of homeownership rising, and mortgage payments taking up an increasingly larger percentage of income, there is a growing need for solutions that allow Americans to tap their most important asset without going further into debt.”

Hometap’s report, Are Homeownership Costs Hindering Other Financial Goals?, uncovered the following key themes and findings:

Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Homeowners

Almost half of homeowners across the country have been negatively impacted in some form by the pandemic. Black homeowners have been hit the hardest.

  • 47% of homeowners have been negatively impacted financially by the pandemic
  • Of homeowners negatively impacted financially by the pandemic, 61% plan to tighten their budget or lower their spending until their debts are paid off
  • 63% of Black homeowners say they have been negatively impacted, compared to 54% of Latinx homeowners and 43% of White homeowners

Growing Costs of Homeownership

Homeowners are struggling to keep up with the everyday costs of homeownership and are becoming increasingly house-rich, cash-poor. Millennials are especially at risk.

  • 52% of U.S. homeowners spend at least 16% of their monthly income on mortgages
    • One in 3 millennials spends more than 26% of income on mortgage costs
  • 46% of U.S. homeowners spend an additional 6 to 15% of their monthly income on other homeownership costs
    • Another 16% spend an even greater percentage of income on homeownership costs
  • Only 38% of homeowners felt “very prepared” for these costs going into homeownership

Misconceptions & Lack of Understanding Around Home Equity Options

Many homeowners do not realize their home provides a source of tappable home equity and are therefore missing out on opportunities to capitalize on their assets, address urgent priorities, and achieve their financial goals.

  • 52% of all U.S. homeowners don’t consider their home an asset they can take cash out of when needed
    • 43% of U.S. homeowners don’t know much equity they have in their home today
  • Millennials are spending the highest percentage of their monthly income on homeownership costs, yet they’re the least likely generation to know how much equity they have
    • 53% of millennials do not know how much equity they have in their homes and 55% do not know how to calculate it
    • 59% do not view their home as an asset they can use to obtain needed cash
  • Conversely, only 31% of baby boomers do not know how much equity they have in their homes and only 39% do not know how to calculate it
    • Only 43% do not view their home as an asset they can use for cash

“Americans are more invested than ever in their homes, but still tend to view homeownership as a source of debt rather than equity,” added MacKinnon. “These findings point to a broad lack of awareness of how to use home equity to unlock new opportunities without the burden of debt when their finances are already stretched.”

Read the full report, with additional details on generational and demographic breakdown, here.

Hometap surveyed 1,000 homeowners in the U.S. ages 25-75 through AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) in August 2021.

About Hometap
Hometap is on a mission to make homeownership less stressful and more accessible. Our home equity investment product provides homeowners with a fast, simple, and straightforward way to access the equity in their home without taking out a loan or having to sell. By investing alongside homeowners, Hometap offers debt-free cash in exchange for a share of their home’s future value — all without any monthly payments or interest over the life of the investment. Through a combination of financial innovation and best-in-class customer service, Hometap enables people to get more from homeownership so they can get more from life. Learn more at

Rachel Keohan
+1 617-399-0604