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Young Renters


More than half of Rochester area Millennials who rent apartments could afford to be homeowners. That’s according to a study from Harvard University, which found 52 percent of people aged 25 to 34 could afford a mortgage.

The study found a big drop in home sales to first-time buyers in 2013. This is happening even though houses and mortgages in most cities are becoming more affordable.

What’s going on? The study notes that while a lot of young adults can afford a mortgage, it’s also true that a huge number cannot. Many are having trouble finding jobs and some are living with their parents. Access to credit could be also be tight.

“Aside from covering monthly homeowner costs, unemployment and income stagnation mean that even in the lowest-cost metros in this analysis, many potential buyers cannot afford at least $5,000 for a 5 percent downpayment,” the study notes.

One thing the study did not address is lifestyle choices. Surveys have shown Millennials want a more urban lifestyle. Many want flexibility to move. This has implications for the local housing market, which has seen a dip in home ownership rates, from 69.9 percent in 2006 to 66.9 percent in 2012.


Links of the Day:


– A reminder that Terry Pegula’s Bills bid is fueled by fracking.

– Even Buffalo radio stations refuse to play Bon Jovi.

– I don’t buy that the Rochester City School District has no schools on this list. Data must be fishy.

– “All 10 states with the largest percentages of uninsured adults now have Republican governors and legislatures.”

– The little discussed suicide problem at America’s firing ranges.

“You know what’s really dangerous to your child? Getting in a car.”

The epic fail of baby car seat design.

– The University of Michigan is building a fake city for driverless cars.

5 Responses to Millennials: They Rent

  1. August 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm Andrew Zibuck responds:

    What is the point of the reminder about Pegula’s money? I’m not trying to be snippy. I’m anti-fracking, but I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about Pegula buying the Bills. He founded his company 30 years ago, before fracking was a big deal. He’s getting out of it before more regulation comes. …sounds kinda like a smart businessman. Should I also be reminded he’s a Republican, and should that somehow influence how I feel about him buying the Bills?

  2. Rent vs Own
    Just because they can afford a home doesn’t mean they should buy one. Along with ownership comes responsibility.

    Not everyone is suited to own a home. Many millennials don’t want to spend their time maintaining a lawn, arranging for snow removal, fixing clogged drains, etc.

    Owning a home also ties them to an area and being a mobile generation this means it may be better to rent.

    Just because someone can afford something does not mean they should buy it.

  3. August 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm SarahJ responds:

    People 25-34 in good paying jobs likely went to college, which means they are saddled with at least a $300 monthly loan payment. That low $300 is only if they stuck to federal loans. If they also took out private loans they are paying $500 to $1,000. The outrageous cost of higher education is starting to impact the housing market and it will get much worse in the coming years.

  4. I don’t want to own a home b/c of all the maintenance and most of my friends feel the same way. If there is a leak at midnight or the grass needs to be mowed, we call up the landlord and bark and cajole at them. I don’t have a lot of down time and when I do, I don’t want to be working on my home. Also I may not be in Rochester in two or three years. Giving notice to sever a lease is a lot easier than severing a mortgage and finding a buyer.

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