Q&A: Millennial home buyers might be missing housing’s recovery

Julie C. Nichols General

Republic3.0 – Anne Kim

Six years after the worst financial crisis in decades, housing and homeownership finally seem poised for recovery. But will millennials miss out? In the second quarter of 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the homeownership rate for Americans under 35 was 35.9 percent, the lowest it’s been since at least 1994. Moreover, first-time home buyers – half of whom are millennials – currently make up just 28 percent of the market, says Jonathan Smoke, the recently-appointed Chief Economist for realtor.com®. This is well below the 35 to 40 percent share of the market that Smoke says has typically been the norm. Smoke says millennial home buyers face a variety of obstacles in the current market. He also argues that even though the housing market shows signs of full recovery, its future health depends on the robust participation of the first-time buyers, including millennials.

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