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How Are Millennials Affecting the Housing Market?

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.36.31 PMThat the odds stacked against Millennials isn’t necessarily secret. Those who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-three have several factors set against them in the search for financial stability. Many struggle under crushing student loan debt; others can’t find a well-paying job to even begin paying off said loan debt. Between these and any number of other contributing factors, Millennials struggle to enter the housing market. As a result, several authorities in the real estate market were recently asked whether they thought Millennials were dragging down the housing market; their responses were collected for an article recently completed by U-T San Diego.

Nearly all those asked noted that several factors that are beyond the control of Millennials play a role in their difficulties to join the housing market and become homeowners. Several factors include difficulty paying off their very expensive college degree—specifically in finding an actual job that is capable of paying off student debt—tight lending standards, high housing prices, a delay in marrying and/or starting a family and hesitancy due to seeing friends and family suffer through debt of their own. As a result of all of these factors, Millennials are forced to live at home with parents for an extended period of time—longer than any other previous generation. Alternatively, even those who are able to find a job to help pay off their various debts, the job does not often pay enough to afford to become a homeowner in the slowly recovering economy; many are forced to settle as renters.

However, despite all of the struggles that exist against Millennials, many of the authorities asked believe that the desire to become homeowners is strong. Leslie Kilpatrick, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, cited a study recently conducted by the California Association of Realtors found that the majority of Millennials plan to buy a home in the next five years. Although all those asked agree that an economic turn around is needed for this statistic to become a reality, some are seeing the signs of the start of a turn around. Home prices have stabilized and interest rates remain at historic lows. Credit availability and lending guidelines have improved and finally fewer investors are in competition with first-time buyers. All of these factors combined may indicate a positive future for Millennials entering the housing market. All authorities asked on the issue believe that the group holds enough in number and in power to have a strong influence on the housing market, should they decide to pursue owning a home instead of renting.

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