The Washington Post: ‘Unluckiest generation’ falters in boomer-dominated market for homes

The Washington Post, August 12, 2023, ‘Unluckiest generation’ falters in boomer-dominated market for homes

Homeownership — the main driver of wealth for most Americans — is out of reach for large swaths of the population. But the pinch is most pronounced for millennials, who are buying homes at a slower pace than those before them. Baby boomers, in fact, represented the largest share of home buyers this year — a spot millennials had held since 2014 — according to research by the National Association of Realtors.

Since entering the workforce, Millennials have experienced the slowest economic growth of any age group. They have also been weighed down by student debt and child-care costs, Lautz said.

Rising interest rates and persistently high asking prices have further eroded their buying power. The median U.S. home sold for $416,100 in the second quarter of 2023, a 26 percent jump since early 2020, Federal Reserve data shows. Median sales prices were significantly higher in the Northeast ($789,600) and the West ($547,900).

Meanwhile, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is now hovering near 7 percent, nearly three times the 2.6 percent recorded in early 2021.

As a result, first-time home buyers are older, with a median age of 36, Lautz said.

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