Besieged by the recession and buried in student loan debt, the so-called millennials, born from the early ’80s through the late ’90s, have largely lacked the financial wherewithal to buy their own homes. Even 30-year-olds were as likely to be stuck in their childhood bedrooms as they were to own their own place as of 2013, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
But there are reasons to be optimistic. While college debt continues to dog this generation, several indicators suggest a widening path to homeownership in the next few years.
A BRIGHTER EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK. The job market was particularly unkind to young adults during the recession. Between 2007 and 2010, the unemployment rate within this group soared to 14 percent from 7.8 percent, compared with 9.6 percent for the population as a whole, according to Alan MacEachin, the corporate economist for the Navy Federal Credit Union, in Vienna, Va., who used Labor Department data. But at a Feb. 25 financial forum on millennials and money in Washington, he noted that the outlook was improving. As of January, he said, the millennial unemployment rate was down to 9.3 percent. Mr. MacEachin predicted that young adults would enjoy rising wages over the next couple of years, especially given that, according to the Census Bureau, about a quarter of them have at least a bachelor’s degree.