When are we going to wake up and admit that our system is failing?
If close to half of our young adults find themselves needing to live with their parents, we have a major crisis on our hands. Yes, there are some young people that are simply lazy and don’t want to work hard enough. I definitely understand that. But most young adults in America today don’t actually want to live with their parents. Given the opportunity, they would love to have their own homes. Unfortunately, home prices have risen to absolutely absurd levels and housing in America is now more unaffordable than it has ever been before.
I feel so badly for the millions upon millions of young people that are struggling so much right now.
We encourage them to pile up giant mountains of student loan debt without ever considering the consequences, and then once they get out into the real world they quickly discover that the cost of living has become extremely suffocating.
As a result, vast numbers of young adults are finding that it is necessary to move back in with their parents…
Nearly half of all young adults are living with their parents — and they’re not ashamed to say it. Moving out and living on your own is often seen as a marker of adulthood. But dealt an onerous set of cards — including pandemic lockdowns, decades-high inflation, soaring student debt levels and a shaky job market — young people today are increasingly staying put. What’s more, it’s no longer seen as a sign of individual failure.
Needless to say, this is not a good thing for our society.
The last time that such a high percentage of young adults were living with their parents was during the aftermath of the Great Depression…
These days, about 23 million, or 45%, of all Americans ages 18 to 29 are living with family, roughly the same level as the 1940s, a time when women were more likely to remain at home until marriage and men too were lingering on family farms in the aftermath of the Great Depression.
So why is this happening?
One of the primary reasons why this is happening is because high interest rates have pushed housing costs to insane levels.
This week, the average rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage reached 7.19 percent…
US mortgage rates remained flat this week, hovering over 7%, where they’ve been for six consecutive weeks as inflation pressures persist. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.19% in the week ending September 21, a tick up from 7.18% the week before, according to data from Freddie Mac released Thursday. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate was 6.29%. “Mortgage rates continue to linger above 7% as the Federal Reserve paused their interest rate hikes,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said. “Given these high rates, housing demand is cooling off and now homebuilders are feeling the effect,” he said. “Builder sentiment declined for the first time in several months and construction levels have dipped to a three-year low, which could have an impact on the already low housing supply,” Khater added.
And this isn’t even going to be the peak.
In fact, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun is warning that “in the short run, it’s possible that mortgage rates may go up to 8%.”
Are you kidding me?
Even now, mortgage payments have escalated to absolutely crazy heights. Earlier this week, the following example was posted on Twitter by Amy Nixon…
This home sold in 2021 for $685,000 Buyer’s monthly payment? $3526 Buyer’s monthly payment today? $8402 “But wages went up!” “But people have cash now!” NO—THIS IS COMPLETE INSANITY STOP PRETENDING IT IS NOT
She is right.
This is nuts.
Only a very small percentage of the population can afford such monthly payments, and so millions of potential buyers are being sidelined.
And millions of potential sellers are being sidelined as well, because most of them would need to purchase another home if the current home they are living in was sold.
So the vast majority of us are trapped in our homes right now.
Most of us simply cannot afford to move because the mortgage payments would be way too high.
Obviously, this is one of the main things that is greatly depressing home sales right now.
Sales of previously owned homes declined again in August.
If you can believe it, they were actually down a whopping 15.3 percent from the already depressed level that we witnessed in August 2022.
If you want to thank someone, thank the officials at the Federal Reserve, because they created this mess.
Overall, Fannie Mae is projecting that this will be the worst year for home sales since 2011…
US home sales are headed for the biggest slowdown since 2011, according to Fannie Mae. The government-sponsored mortgage finance company forecasted total home sales to slump to just 4.8 million this year, marking the slowest sales environment since 2011. That figure will only improve slightly in 2024, with total home sales expected to hit 4.9 million, Fannie Mae economists said.
If our young adults cannot afford to purchase homes, at least they can afford to rent places to live, right?
In recent years, rents have skyrocketed all over the country.
At this point, the national median asking rent in the U.S. is over $2,000 a month…
Landlords are continuing to ask near record-high rents amid a tight housing market, but tenants in some parts of the country are still finding deals, according to a new study from Redfin. The asking rent in August was $2,052, up slightly (0.7%) from just a month earlier when the asking rent was $2,038.
When I was a young adult, I remember renting an apartment for $300 a month.
And I thought that was expensive.
Unfortunately, I don’t see much help for our young people on the horizon.
The Federal Reserve does not plan to cut interest rates any time soon.
And it will be quite some time before housing prices decline enough to be considered “affordable”.
So if you are a parent, please be patient with any young adults that you currently have living at home.
Factors outside of their control have made housing more unaffordable than it has ever been before, and economic conditions are going to continue to get harsher all around us.