Reasons Why Millennials Are Harder to Get A House Mortgage (Indonesian Case = KPR)

I finally understand a few reasons that might be the cause of why Millennials are harder to get a house.

A few years ago, I always wonder why people really like to say “Millennials will be harder to get a house”. I was thinking this might be because we like to spend our money on experiences, and don’t really put much attention in saving up for around 30% of our income, thus making us harder to get a good savings and start having a house. Turns out, that is not only the case.

A few months ago, I decided to get myself a house. It was under the consideration that during the COVID period, housing developers offered various discounts and as a thankful feeling from me to God because I still have a job during this hard time, so I thought I would like to give it a try. Going through 2 months of the process from deciding which house I wanted to get, to getting approval from the Bank for the mortgage, was quite of a journey. And now I finally it, I finally understand some of the reasons why it’s actually really hard for millennials to get a house.

We Like to Spend More on Experience, Less on Saving Up

Millennials growing up during the growing period of Social Media. With Social Media, especially Instagram, we, millennials tend to share everything that we do, especially those who will make us look cool. We like to go to trendy places, good views, eat in good restaurants that don’t only sell the taste of the foods but also the ambiance of the place, and many more.

There’s this saying that seems to be a mantra for millennials:

“Invest on experience, not on things”

This millennial generation also generates another definition of happiness. If in the older generation, happiness simply means getting a good job, settling down, and have a stable family, it’s not always the case for millennials. For millennials what matters is sometimes how we spend our time and money. It’s about the experience, the moment that we will always remember.

This behavior makes us put less focus on saving up for the future like for housings.

The Types of Businesses We Work At

In the Indonesian case, there are several detailed requirements that banks actually require to approve your mortgage, and those are the details that people don’t usually talk about. Here are (some of) the details:

  • The age of the company that you work at, should be older than 2 years old (better to be older than 6 years old).
  • The company should AT LEAST have 20 employees. To be safe, the company is counted stable if it has 50 employees or more.
  • Should have the conventional structure of companies: exact physical address number that should always have a front desk to answer the phone, office phone number, a separated HR body than the management body.

In which in the recent trends, millennials usually work in the companies where the conventional does not happen. Here are some samples.

Maaaaany of millennials works at Startup companies. What it means by Startup companies, usually they:

  • Are established in less than 5years. Many of the millennials even work in a Startup that’s just built in the same year they joined the company.
  • Have less than 20 employees, because Startup companies usually have a lean-type of organization.
  • Don’t have a dedicated office number. Many Startup companies usually just have the typical home office, or just renting a few desks at a coworking space. What it causes them is that they don’t have a dedicated phone line, where people can freely call them and the receptionist is directly associated with them and can answer on their behalf. Usually, the phone number is the coworking space’s number, which won’t be “representable” for the banks to call, when they need to confirm some data.

With all these types of works that millennials usually work at, it’s no surprise that it’s harder for millennials to have the mortgage approved by the Banks. Banks need assurance for the long term, and unfortunately, it means a lot of details, not only about financial assurance from the person. Even though with the flexibility that millennials have, this generation actually can always find ways to earn money with any type of work, this does not count for banks when it comes to mortgages. What Banks need is the assurance that the person will always have what it takes to help them pay the mortgage.

Why is it important? Because when we talk about a mortgage, is not only about 1 or 2 years loan to the bank. But it is about 15 to 20 (or more) years of loan to the Banks.

Our Behaviour of Moving Jobs

Last but not least of the reasons that make us, millennials are having it harder to have a house is because of our behaviors of moving jobs. It has been well known that millennial is the generation that easily gets bored with a job and tends to move jobs quicker, usually in less than 2 years time. This behavior also affects Banks' consideration not to give millennials approval for the mortgage.

Taking on the example, if the Banks see the person’s record that they have moved to 3 different jobs in the past 5 years, this will be a huge consideration for the Banks. They will be reconsidered the candidate, under the assumption that the person might be quickly changing jobs again. And the “change” is something uncertain for them. Who knows if the next job is less fortunate than the old one? Or who knows if when the person decides to quit from one job, they will need time to get a new one. Of course, this condition can affect the person’s financial condition, this will affect their future ability to pay the mortgage.

Dancing it All Off!

With all this hardship for millennials to have a house, then the question is

“Is owning a house still a standard of adulting?”

I would say, “Not always, not really”.

It’s all about a choice. From what I’ve seen, the way millennials live their lives (our lives) where we try to balance between experience and sustainability for the future, is complex enough to have a standard that simple. Whether we are still just renting a small apartment or will keep renting for the rest of our lives, or having our own houses, no side is better than the other. It should all goes back to each person’s capability and each person’s choices.

Nothing is bad by filling life with experiences not numbers in our bank accounts. But nothing is bad also by making our bank accounts fat. Either way is good. We just need to make sure we live the life we want and able to, and keep dancing it all off.

A woman in tech. A life time public speaker, self-proclaimed writer, who loves to keep learning. A chairman of RUSSEAN (Russia ASEAN Youth Association).