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.

2 minute read

April 11, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Edge condition houses transect

pbk-pg / Shutterstock

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

Green rapid transit bus pulled into station in dedicated lane.

Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes

The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.

February 25, 2024 - Fox 59

View of 110 freeway with downtown Los Angeles buildings in background.

LA Freeway Ramp ‘Quietly Canceled’

A 2018 lawsuit forced Metro and Caltrans to do full environmental reviews of the project, leading to its cancellation.

February 29, 2024 - Streetsblog LA

View from shore of Sepulveda Basin water catchment basin with marsh plants along shore.

LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water

The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.

February 25, 2024 - Wired

Blue and white Pittsburgh bike share bikes lined up at a station with a red city bus on street in background.

Micromobility Operators Call for Better Links to Transit

For shared mobility to succeed, systems must tap into the connectivity and funding potential offered by closer collaboration with public transit.

March 4 - GovTech

New York MTA Bus

Retaining Transit Workers Is About More Than Wages

An analysis of California transit employees found a high rate of burnout among operators who face unpredictable work schedules, high housing costs, and occasional violence.

March 4 - Streetsblog California

View of Hollywood Reservoir with palm trees in foreground and Los Angeles neighobrhoods in background.

California's Stormwater Potential

A new study reveals that if California could collect and treat more stormwater in cities, it could provide enough water to supply a quarter of the state’s urban population.

March 4 - Cal Matters

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.