Many Millennials Are Being Squeezed Out of the Home Buying Business

Bailey Cato and Josh Czupryk are unusual for Millennials: They were able to buy a home, but not without a lot of disappointment first.
Bailey Cato and Josh Czupryk are unusual for Millennials: They were able to buy a home, but not without a lot of disappointment first.

The Millennial generation is great at many things: texting, social media, selfies. But buying a home? Not so much.

Just 36% of Americans under the age of 35 own a home, according to the Census Bureau. That’s down from 42% in 2007 and the lowest level since 1982, when the agency began tracking homeownership by age.

It’s not all their fault. Millennials want to buy homes — 90% prefer owning over renting, according to a recent survey from Fannie Mae.

But student loan debt, tight lending standards and stiff competition have made it next to impossible for many of these younger Americans to make the leap.

“When we surveyed Millennials they cited several barriers to homeownership, especially access to financing,” said Steve Deggendorf, a senior director for Fannie Mae.

Many Millennials simply can’t come up with the hefty 20% down payments. Others don’t have good enough credit to qualify for loans.

Related: Priced out: ‘I can’t afford a home in my town’

Making it even more difficult are the heavy student loan burdens many college grads carry.

“Our problem is an obvious one — debt,” said Mike Kennedy, a 32-year-old marketing director who lives in Northboro, Mass. “My wife just graduated with her master’s and I’m still paying off mine.”

Even without the $50,000 in student loan debt they owe, affording a home in their town is difficult, he said. Single-family homes there cost $300,000 and up.

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Source: CNN Money | Les Christie