Study: Millennials Hold Off on Big Life Choices

Baby boomers and millennials have different attitudes when it comes to marriage, children, and home ownership. Researchers with the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University compared adults who were 25 to 34 years old in the 1980’s with those who are in that age group today. One difference they found is that millennials are getting married later in life. In 1980, two-thirds of 25- to 34-year-old’s were married; in 2015, just two in five were married.

Because baby boomers were more likely to get married younger, they generally left their parents’ home much earlier than millennials. Americans in their late 20s and early 30s who live with their parents or grandparents have more than doubled since 1980, notes researcher Lydia Anderson. In 1980, only 9 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds were living with parents or grandparents compared to 22 percent in 2015.

Millennials are also putting off having children and buying a home. Plus, lag behind baby boomers when it comes to marriage, children, and home ownership, they are more likely to obtain a college degree, the study notes.

Source: “Young Americans Are Killing Marriage,” Bloomberg (April 4, 2017)

When Will Millennials Break Into Ownership?

The housing market has made some strides since 2013, but household growth has yet to fully recover from the effects of the recession, according to a new housing report released Thursday by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Young Americans, saddled with higher-than-ever student-loan debt and falling incomes, continue to live with their parents,” the report notes.

Still, researchers are hopeful for a turnaround as the Millennial generation breaks out on their own. The number of households in their 30s is expected to increase by 2.7 million over the coming decade, which should boost demand for new housing, the report predicts.

“Ultimately, the large Millennial generation will make their presence felt in the owner-occupied market, just as they already have in the rental market, where demand is strong, rents are rising, construction is robust, and property values increased by double digits for the fourth consecutive year in 2013,” says Daniel McCue, research manager at the Joint Center.

But Millennials likely will not be able to increase their presence in the housing market until incomes grow. Also, the report notes that another important aspect is how potential GSE reform will affect the cost and availability of mortgage credit for the next generation of home buyers.

Source: Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

When Will Millennials Break Into Home Ownership?

The housing market has made some strides since 2013, but household growth has yet to fully recover from the effects of the recession, according to a new housing report released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Young Americans, saddled with higher-than-ever student-loan debt and falling incomes, continue to live with their parents,” the report notes.

  • Still, researchers are hopeful for a turnaround as the Millennial generation breaks out on their own. The number of households in their 30s is expected to increase by 2.7 million over the coming decade, which should boost demand for new housing, the report predicts.

“Ultimately, the large Millennial generation will make their presence felt in the owner-occupied market, just as they already have in the rental market, where demand is strong, rents are rising, construction is robust, and property values increased by double digits for the fourth consecutive year in 2013,” says Daniel McCue, research manager at the Joint Center.

But Millennials likely will not be able to increase their presence in the housing market until incomes grow. Also, the report notes that another important aspect is how potential GSE reform will affect the cost and availability of mortgage credit for the next generation of home buyers.

Source: Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

Student Debt Holds Buyers Back, But Doesn’t Need To

Rising student loan debt continues to take blame for curtailing the number of young Americans from home ownership, but lenders and real estate professionals say it doesn’t have to necessarily be a deal killer in qualifying for a mortgage.

Home ownership is possible for buyers saddled with student loan debt, says John Wheaton, Redfin Open Book lender. “Many young people with student loans delay buying a home because they don’t think they can’t qualify for a mortgage,” Wheaton says. “Yet, many of them actually can. Underwriters generally treat student debt in a more positive light than credit card or auto loan debt.”

For example, Wheaton says that a person with $45,000 in student loans and a FICO score of 741 with an income of about $75,000 per year would likely qualify for a property starting at around $375,000 with a 5 percent down payment.

The National Association of REALTORS® recently reported that the share of existing home purchases by first-time home buyers has fallen to 26 percent of sales. Last year, the percentage stood at 30 percent.

Source: “Higher Education or a House: Can Young Americans Have Both?” Redfin Research Center (Feb. 24, 2014)