Buying a House Sucks for Millennials

Standard & Poor’s released the Case-Shiller Housing Index for August today, so that seemed like a good excuse to follow up Monday’s post about the feeble growth of millennial income. Here is income growth for 25-34-year-olds vs. housing prices since 1975:

The income of young adult families has gone up about 18 percent since 1975. Housing has gone up about 65 percent. So if you remember buying a house in the 70s, and how tough it was to make the payments, multiply that by two-thirds to see what young adults have to put up with today.

And if you’re thinking that mortgage rates are lower today than they were in the 70s, think again:

Real interest rates are lower than they were in the 80s, and a couple of points lower than they were in the 90s. But that’s it. Buying a first home just sucks these days unless you’re lucky enough to be in the top 20 percent or so.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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