WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report released today by Joint Economic Committee Democrats details how a limited supply of affordable housing, the lingering effects of the Great Recession, and high student loan burdens are preventing millennials from becoming homeowners. Millennials, people roughly between the ages of 22 and 37, entered the workforce during the worst recession since the 1930s and many have faced underemployment and depressed wages. At the same time, many cities across the country are now seeing a boom in high-price, luxury rentals and a decline in the availability of starter homes.
The report, “Unlocking Millennial Homeownership,” cautions that unless policymakers address chronic problems like the low supply of starter units, crippling student loans, and slow wage growth, homeownership will continue to be a distant goal for many millennials. “Homeownership has always been a benchmark for financial stability. When young adults are unable to purchase homes, it makes it harder for them to accumulate wealth and build financial security,” said Senator Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee. “We must address persistent problems like slow wage growth, lack of affordable housing, and high student loan debt. Without comprehensive solutions to these issues, millennials will continue to struggle in the housing market and will be blocked from putting down the kind of roots that strengthen communities and economies.”
From September 2010 to 2018, the median price of a new home rose over 40 percent to $320,000. Meanwhile, starter home inventory has dropped, driving more and more millennials into costly, long-term renting. Student loan debt makes it harder to save up for a down payment and qualify for a mortgage. Over time, these factors accrue and threaten the financial stability of individuals and families.
The full JEC Report can be found here.