There has been a lot of discussion recently about Millennials – young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 – and when they will begin forming households of their own. For the past few years, the number of first-time home buyers active in the market has been lower than the historical average and many experts believe this is the final piece holding back the housing market’s recovery. As these young Americans become homeowners, residential real estate will become more stable and balanced, reducing the volatility now seen in the month-to-month fluctuations of the market. Jonathan Smoke, Realtor.com’s chief economist, said Millennials are a critical component of the first-time home buyer market and getting that segment of the market functioning again is a necessity for bringing the housing ecosystem back to full health. And, according to new data from Realtor.com, there is growing reason for optimism. In fact, the most recent National Housing Trend Report found that half of all Millennials viewed real estate websites in the last month, indicating high levels of demand. And though tight inventory, rising prices, and saving for a down payment can be a hurdle for young home buyers, many local markets offer affordable opportunities for first-time buyers. More here.