Homeownership among prime home buyers has declined 11% from 1980 to 2012. It can be argued that the statistics are skewed, because many 19-24 year olds are still in school, and not financially able to live on their own – but that’s not the point. Many adults who fall into that 18-30-year-old range are considered prime candidates for homeownership, yet over 50% choose to live with their parents or rent. Ideally they should be buying. What’s holding them back?
Even with talk of the job market turning around, there are still over 9 million people unemployed. This leads to more young adults either struggling to find jobs, or taking part-time jobs with less pay. Either situation makes it much harder to save up for a house.
Saving is hard without a job, but it’s even harder when there’s student loan debt piling up on top of everything else. According to CNN, the average student’s post-college debt is anywhere from $25,000 to $29,000. This becomes a huge problem when trying to save for a house. One of the main factors of being a prime home buyer is also having a college education, which is associated with higher income and, unfortunately, student loan debt.
Low employment and high student loan debt numbers are forcing millennials to make lifestyle changes as well. CNN projects the millennial generation to have the lowest rates of marriage by age 40 compared to any generation. This is important because marriage and family tend to need to a larger living space. The two points above (employment and debt) have a huge impact on that, too.
Will it Ever Change?
This is where millennials really have to step up. The job market does show signs of recovering over the next couple years and, hopefully, millennials will find more opportunities. Until it does, millennials who have goals of homeownership, should try and save whatever money they can. It’s also important for them to start building up credit by paying off loans and being on time with payments. Even if millennials continue to live at home, those two takeaways are a step in the right direction, and will help them be able to eventually buy homes.
Are you a millennial who’s living at home or renting an apartment? Are you a millennial who broke the trend and bought a house? Either way, feel free to comment below and share your experience.
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