Millennials have faced accusations of killing many trends over the last decade – from chain restaurants to the diamond industry. But while the generation served as America’s favorite scapegoat for ruining products and businesses, the fact of the matter is millennials don’t have the finances to buy the things older generations value – including a home.
One 2019 study found millennials are dramatically financially worse off than previous generations were at their age. In fact, the net worth of Americans under 35 has dropped more than one third since 1996. Between a rising cost of living and unprecedented student loan debt, buying a home is harder for millennials than for their parents. Here are a few key reasons why millennials are putting off buying a house.
It’s too expensive
According to Student Loan Hero, homes are 39% more expensive today than they were 40 years ago. In some areas, the median cost of a home exceeded the median income so much it could take nearly 10 years to save for a 20% down payment.
With the student loan debt crisis at an all-time high, millennials are struggling to take out a mortgage. Millennials are also waiting longer to marry, and fewer live with a spouse or partner than older generations. The burden of debt and lack of two household incomes make it challenging to afford or qualify for a home.
They need roommates to afford rent
As renting a home or apartment is also expensive, millennial renters are living with roommates or even their parents to save money. Between 2005 and 2015, the number of young adults living with a roommate – not romantic partner – increased a staggering 23% in the U.S. What’s more, is 35% of millennials today still live with their parents due to the high-cost living.
They’re skipping the starter home
By the time millennials are in a position to purchase a home, many of them are surpassing the starter home altogether. While they may be older than the baby boomer generation when they do buy their home, they have more time to save for a down payment and more assets. As a result, most millennials who buy a home are looking to settle down for the long term, not upgrade their home in a couple of years.
While financial hardships are delaying millennial homeownership, it doesn’t mean buying a house is out of the question for young adults. Unfortunately, the bar to enter the real estate market simply is much higher for millennials.