Study: Gen Y Key to Stronger Recovery

Julie C. Nichols General

The M Report – Derek Templeton

In its annual "State of the Nation’s Housing" report, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University suggested that participation in the housing market from the segment of the population age 18 to 34 is the key to a robust housing recovery. The report concluded that the United States housing recovery should regain its footing but also faces a number of substantial challenges. "The housing recovery is following the path of the broader economy," said Chris Herbert, research director at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

"As long as the economy remains on the path of slow, but steady improvement, housing should follow suit." The report predicts that, despite the challenges, the demographic trends will induce greater participation. At some level at least, it’s a numbers game because of the increasing volume of adults coming of age. The number of households in their 30s should increase by 2.7 million over the coming decade, which should boost demand for new housing, the report predicts. For now, tight credit, elevated unemployment, and mounting student loan debt among young Americans are curbing growth and keeping Millennials and other first-time homebuyers out of the market. Young Americans, feeling the burden of record levels of student loan debt and falling incomes, continue to live with their parents in greater numbers.

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