Millennials regret buying homes because they can’t afford to, and millennials everywhere are like, “Duh”
Millennial homeownership is on the rise. Around 37 percent of people ages 25 to 34 now own a home. But a new study by Bank of the West shows that of those who have overcome the recession and purchased homes, nearly 70 percent say they regret taking the plunge and buying homes.
While the reasons participants gave for their buyer’s remorse were varied, they had a common thread: Nearly all of them had to do with the finances of owning a home.
Around 40 percent of the millennial homeowners surveyed said their biggest regret was overspending on a down payment. One in three reported dipping into retirement savings in order to have enough money to put down on a house.
Others underestimated the ongoing costs of homeownership, like repairs and utilities. Around half of the survey respondents reported settling for a home that they didn’t love or that had problems or damage.
I’m sorry, but is anyone surprised by any of this? We’ve known for years how screwed millennials are financially — they’re the first generation in U.S. history that’s financially worse off than their parents. Nearly half of millennials are not saving for retirement, and experts predict it’s because student loan debt is 84 percent higher than that of the previous generation, and the average amount of student debt per person has grown 74 percent, from $15,000 to $27,000 just since 2008. All that debt, coupled with historically low earnings, means millennials tend to have pretty abysmal credit scores, which would effect their ability to secure any decent sort of home loan.
At the same time, the median sale price for U.S. homes has climbed astronomically in recent years. The current median sale price is $238,00o, up from $166,000 in 2013, just five years ago. Yes, that’s right. Median home prices have surged more than 43 percent, nearly $100,000 per home, in just half a decade. Considering it can easily take five years to save and prepare for buying a home, it’s no wonder millennials find themselves constantly priced out, despite working toward that goal.
Just as depressing as the results of this study is the way millennials are responding to it: with a resounding “duh.”
We don’t need studies to tell us that we’re in a really rough financial spot. We’re living it every single day. What we need is education and healthcare reform, so we can stop scrambling all the time and gain some of the financial footing past generations take for granted.
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