Two demographics influencing the housing market are baby boomers and fist-time buyers plagued by student loan debt. Both groups are leaving stagnant markets and low turnovers.
Baby boomers themselves control about two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate home equity, which computes to about $8 trillion. Whether they decide to move from their current place, downsize or age in place, the cumulative impact of their decisions on mortgage demand, housing options to Millennials and other aspiring homeowners will be substantial.
In a recent survey by Freddie Mac, 63 percent of respondents age 55 and over prefer to age in place, which computes to 42 million homeowners spread out across the entire 55+ demographic. These numbers suggest baby boomers’ housing decisions over the next few years “will take our market to brand new places.” says Freddie Mac Economist Sean Becketti.
Not only are baby boomers staying put, so are Millennials buried in student debt. Nearly three-quarters of people who are repaying student loans say their debt is hindering them from buying a home, according to surveys released by the nonprofit American Student Assistance.
More staggeringly, nearly half of those surveyed said their debt is expected to delay their home buying for at least five more years.
The housing market feels these affects keenly, as the homeownership rate among the 35-and-younger crowd has plummeted from 44 percent at the height of the housing boom to 34 percent today.
It’s not because someone has left a hurtful comment on their latest selfie, or because their skinny jeans don’t fit anymore, but many millennials these days are having legitimate concern over their future, and where their future will take place geographically.
It’s no surprise that cities with most economic prospect draw residents from all over the country. You’re going to go where the jobs are, and where the money is. Young couples looking to buy a home, raise children and achieve the American Dream are facing a broad dilemma in California. Macro-economics teaches us that the cities with the least affordable housing often have the best social mobility. Inversely, cities with the most affordable housing have the worst social mobility. California is home to six of the seven least affordable housing markets, though has four of the 11 best cities for upward mobility and job opportunity, including Southern California, according to Kolko’s affordability metric. (Kolko/Chetty 2015)
High-income metros often have greater influence over planning commissions, and rightfully so at times. The coastal communities, for example, often deter and vote against new construction, as opposed to lower income metros. The unique thing about Southern California, is that may of these high-income metros and low-income metros, seem to live in symbiosis. The best advice to give your millennial seeking the American Dream? Uh, we’ll let you know when we find it. Until then, we’re open to suggestions.