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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