The Millennial Challenge and Impact of Student Debt on Homeownership

The traditional first steps for young adults after graduating college is to find a job and form their own household, well before purchasing a home. However, in a recent 2016 study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and American Student Assistance, 42% of student loan borrowers reported delaying moving out of a family member’s home after college, with 24% delaying for at least two years. However, since many young adults use this living situation as a way to pay down debt and save, further increases in student debt loads would likely extend the amount of time individuals live at home, thereby postponing the formation of households. In fact, approximately half of all borrowers in the NAR survey believed that student loan debt inhibited their ability to rent alone.
The strain of student debt impacts the perceptions and beliefs of households regarding their ability to purchase a home. Approximately 71% of non-homeowners in a 2016 study believed that their student loan debt delayed them from buying a home. Non-homeowners with more than $50,000 in student debt were the most likely to feel that their debt delayed them from buying a home, with approximately eight out of ten feeling this way.
The millennial generation is also more likely to suffer from this problem, whereas the Generation X and baby boomer respondents felt their inability to own a home because of student debt was attributed to high debt-to-income ratios. In many ways, educational attainment is becoming an increasingly important step toward achieving the American Dream of owning a home. Education generally increases both job opportunities and income. In fact, the average earnings premium of a college degree, the percentage by which wages of college graduates exceed those of otherwise comparable high school graduates, rose substantially by approximately 25 percentage points for both women and men to 50.8%, reflecting both rising opportunities for those with degrees, and a decline in real average earnings for those without a degree.
In general, increased earnings potential from additional education makes saving for a down payment, qualifying for a mortgage and affording monthly mortgage payments easier, particularly in an environment of rising home prices and still tight credit standards. In fact, compared with not having a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree increased homeownership by 17.5 percentage points for young adults.
Although education generally increases future earnings and in turn boosts the future likelihood of buying a home, student loan debt is having young adults opting to live with their parents or remain in shared living situations because of the financial burdens caused by student debt, thereby postponing the formation of additional households.
For all of the potential home buyers, before you give up on your home buying plans talk to your Realtor and Lender, as there are a number of 100% loans available for individuals based on a number of factors including area and income. Additionally, it may be possible for the seller to pay some of your closing costs on your behalf.
The Tobey Team is one of Faulkner County’s leading, knowledgeable and top producers. We are full time agents with the knowledge, dedication, customer focus, and commitment to all aspects of your Real Estate needs. Call us today at 501-358-0023 with your real estate questions.
Data Sources Include National Realtors Association
and American Student Assistance