Millennials are not buying homes, which unlike previous generations, was a most common occurrence once they reached a certain age. 2015 marked the 11th straight year in which home ownership has declined; from 69% in 2004, to 63.7% in 2015.

The US is currently experiencing its lowest birth rate ever, and what this means for the housing market is interesting, to say the least. Similarly, is indicated a variety of other trends that are occurring, making it very clear that times are a-changing in ways never before seen. Millennials are different; they’re not buying homes, or starting families.

Millennials are having less babies than any previous generations, and are also looking at the prospect of if they do, they will be much older in age. The birth rate, which should theoretically be a “replacement” rate of fertility, is not keeping pace as it had in every other period of modern history, in America. In the big picture, fertility rates are indications of the economy, stability, and of the overall growth, and right now, we looking at historic lows. Of course, things could change, and there could be a rebound, however, the future cannot be predicted.

However in the current moment, this is indicative of other trends. Millennials are contending with an American economic climate that has never been seen before, and while many judge their decisions as being based on spoiled selfishness, they do not have the economic prosperity the Baby Boomers had so readily available for the taking. Millennials, especially women, are faced with making a decision that puts them between economic stability and having children; and they are more willingly ready to go with the former. Less millennials are settling down into long-term relationships because of the increased focus on individuality and independence; babies, and joint home buying does not fit into this ideal.

This cultural shift we are currently experiencing does not allow for younger buyers to purchase homes, so many are just sidestepping it altogether. They are opting for less responsibility, and compromising of their lifestyles.

So what it comes down to is that millennials are just a different generation. Recovering from the financial crisis and recession of 2008, looking at a completely divergent economic climate than ever before, and trying their best to navigate through it, they’re a little slower to the start in terms of home buying than their predecessors.