To Buy or Not to Buy?

To Buy or Not to Buy?

The homeownership rate among millennials ages 25-34 is around 8% lower than when both Generation X and the Baby Boomers were when in the same age range.

A new report by the policy research group Urban Institute looked to explain why.  What they found was a variety of reasons, some of them are financial and some of them are lifestyle in character.

Delayed marriages were a primary cause, as millennials are marrying later and marrying less than their older counterparts.  Today the median age for a first marriage is closer to 30, while in 1960, the average age was in the early 20’s.

In addition, today’s millennials are in no hurry to reproduce.  The share of married households with children, aged 18-34 dropped to 25% in 2015, down from 37% in 1990.

In addition, the unprecedented amount of student debt millennials have taken on also reduces their chances of owning a home of their own.  The researchers at the Urban Institute found that if a person’s education debt went from $50,000 to $100,000, their chance of home ownership declines by 15 percentage points. 

The following chart (from CNBC.com) reports the reasons millennials themselves give for not participating in homeownership.

Barriers to home-ownership with millennials