High Housing Costs Are Bad News for Older Millennials

Burdened by rising housing costs, many millennials are finding it increasingly difficult to pay off debt or save for the future.

April 11, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Edge condition houses transect

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Faced with "increased housing and living costs, student loans, a sometimes tough employment market, and the cost of raising children," many millennials—some of whom are turning 40 this year—find themselves burdened by massive amounts of debt and struggling to make ends meet. The "perfect storm" of "rising costs, scarcity of supply, lack of new development, increased debt and stalled wage growth," writes Megan Leonhardt for CNBC, has forced many "to stretch their already-overburdened budgets to the max and, in some cases, hampered their ability to get ahead and save for the future."

Many older millennials—those born between 1981 and 1989—spend more than the recommended 30% of their income on housing, hindering their ability to save or invest. Across the United States, "housing costs have been on the rise for decades, more than doubling since 1985," and more than 17 million people spend more than half of their income on housing. With demand rising faster than supply, "home prices have consistently been on the rise since early 2012." Renters aren't faring any better. "From 2001 to 2019, rents rose by 15% while the median renter household income rose just 3.4%," making it practically impossible for many renters to save for buying a home.

Despite the new flexibility afforded by remote work, millennials who want to buy homes face an uphill battle and find themselves "making big sacrifices to prioritize debt repayment."

Thursday, April 1, 2021 in CNBC

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