What happens when homeownership is less accessible to younger Americans?
There is a big challenge when someone comes of age during an economic crisis. Millennials, the children of baby boomers born between 1982 and 2000 have largely grown into an economy that was fully in shambles. This is a generation that grew up with parents talking about the middle class as if it were a foregone conclusion. Their parent’s went to school when it was affordable, came of age when jobs were plentiful, and housing costs were reasonable relative to incomes. Those days are largely gone. While some in the real estate industry scratch their heads as to why homeownership for younger Americans is so low, they should spend some time analyzing the cross-currents that are hitting this cohort. The older Millennials are well into their first home buying years yet their homeownership rates are far below those of previous generations. It was thought that once the Great Recession ended in 2009 that somehow these people would be back at it and buying homes. Yet growing up during a time of massive uncertainty leaves a psychological impact on how you view your future goals. Many are opting not to buy homes and many others simply cannot afford to leave home. The apt title for this cohort is Generation R, as in a new generation of renters.
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