News, This Week In Congress, Are Millennials Interested In Home Ownership?

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A lot of Millennials don’t seem to be interested in buying a home. Many of them are delaying home ownership for financial reasons, or because they don’t see owning a home as a goal. We find out what this means for the generation and for the American Dream. We also check in on the news of the day, discuss the latest news from Capitol Hill, and learn about the controversy over near-death experiences in To The Best Of Our Knowledge’s series on death and dying.

Featured in this Show

  • Why Aren't Millennials Buying Homes?

    Buying a home used to be considered a core part of the American Dream — a symbol of arrival into adulthood. But, many millennials seem to be delaying home ownership compared to previous generations.

    In a recent article for the Atlantic magazine, associate editor Gillian White wrote about the new American Dream and the future of homeownership. She found that among people under 35 years of age, who largely make up the first-time homebuyer market, home ownership is down to 36 percent from a high of 43 percent in 2005.

    There are a lot of things weighing on millennials and their decision to postpone home ownership, including limited job prospects, student debt, flat wage growth and tight credit conditions. Many of them also watched the country slip into a recession as a result of the housing market crash in 2008.

    “All of those things kind of combine in the profile of a millennial, and does not play very well for them when it comes to being in a financial position to buy a home,” White said.

    White said there’s more to the story than just the poor economic conditions. There are a variety of cultural and social issues that seem to be at play, too. Millennials have pushed back the average age of marriage and having kids. And given the slow economic recovery, they’re making mobility a bigger priority.

    “If millennials are working someplace one year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will still have that job a year later. So, they need to kind of be able to get up and go,” White said. “And if you’re paying a mortgage somewhere and would have to find someone to rent it or be able to sell it, that definitely hinders your mobility.”

    Economists seem split on whether they believe millennials are simply delaying their big asset purchases and waiting to gain financial footing, or if there’s a bigger sea change toward never buying a home.

    Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, said this generation could be establishing new normal when it comes to home-buying, pushing the average age of the first-time homebuyer from 31 to between 32 and 34 within the next few years.

    “Younger buyers have expressed a desire to enter the market, and as they get married, get better jobs and begin to settle down and have children, they will,” Humphries said.

    While first-time homebuyers have been largely absent from the housing market in the current economic recovery, some metropolitan areas — particularly in the Midwest and West — are well-positioned to see increases in home-buying from the millennial generation in upcoming years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    The association examined local job market conditions, and studied migration patterns of young adults to determine the best purchase prospects for young buyers. It also considered housing affordability and inventory availability. The research showed that Madison has strong potential for attracting Millennial homebuyers.

  • This Week In Congress – November 26, 2014

    USA Today Politics and Congress Editor Paul Singer joins Central Time for his weekly update on happenings in Congress.

  • Is The Millennial Generation Interested In Home Buying?

    The Millennial generation seems to be delaying the purchase of a home. Some are waiting to get on their financial feet, others don’t see a home purchase as a strong goal. We find out what this means for Millennials and our notions about the American dream.

Episode Credits

  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Gillian B. White Guest
  • Paul Singer Guest
  • Galen Druke Producer