The High Cost of a Home Is Turning American Millennials Into the New Serfs

This is an excellent piece and pings directly on what we have seen firsthand. Millennials are being regulated, by many means, right out of home ownership. The author makes the point that despite the spin, Millennials actually want their own homes. They want families. They don’t necessarily want to spend their lives in tightly packed cities. They just can’t afford homes, families, or to move. Few Millennials will admit this but it’s true. But hey, the mimosas are bottomless at brunch.

And it’s very hard to buy a house when one already has a “mortgage” of student debt hanging around one’s neck.

(From The Daily Beast)

The problems facing millennials include an economy where job growth has been largely in service and part-time employment, producing lower incomes; the Census bureau estimates they earn, even with a full-time job, $2,000 less in real dollars than the same age group made in 1980. More millennials, notes a recent White House report, face far longer period of unemployment and suffer low rates of labor participation. More than 20 percent of people 18 to 34 live in poverty, up from 14 percent in 1980…

…In some markets, high rents and weak millennial incomes make it all but impossible to raise a down payment (PDF). According to Zillow, for workers between 22 and 34, rent costs now claim upward of 45 percent of income in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Miami, compared to less than 30 percent of income in metropolitan areas like Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. The costs of purchasing a house are even more lopsided: In Los Angeles and the Bay Area, a monthly mortgage takes, on average, close to 40 percent of income, compared to 15 percent nationally.

Like medieval serfs in pre-industrial Europe, America’s new generation, particularly in its alpha cities, seems increasingly destined to spend their lives paying off their overlords, and having little to show for it.

Click here for the article.