Most Millennials Rent

More Millennials are renting than buying in the Rochester market. A study by Harvard University found 41 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 own homes in the Rochester. But 52 percent of renters could afford a mortgage.

"I can pick up and move at a moment's notice and I don't have to bear this financial burden," said Melissa Yepes, 26. 

"Pretty much lack of commitment I would say and the ability to move if I wanted to," said Justin Guse.

Millennials have many other reasons for not wanting to buy: student loan debt, tight access to credit and lifestyle choices.

Nationally, the number of first-time homebuyers fell 22 percent between 2001 and 2011. First-time homebuyers typically make up 40 percent of the housing market, but it's now 38 percent.

"If you don't have first-time homebuyers who have purchased, then those who have purchased their first home five to ten years ago, they're going to have a more difficult time selling," said Rochester real estate agent Mark Siwiec, who has noticed fewer young buyers.

Meantime, local developers are putting up apartments in trendy neighborhoods where Millennials want to live. Those neighborhoods usually have a shortage of affordable homes for sale.

"I currently live at the Village Gates loft. I love that updated modern look. Rochester, unfortunately, doesn't have that modern style and so the time being I'm just going to keep renting," said Yepes.

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