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It used to be that everyone wanted to buy a home, seeking pleasure and security, as well as the potential for future wealth.
But younger Americans are buying homes far less often than their elders' generations did, and that puts a large sector of the U.S. economy at risk.
Millennial - Home - Ownership - Levels - Generations
Millennial home ownership levels are dramatically lower than the those of previous generations at a similar age. In 1985, 45.5% of 25- to 34-year-olds owned homes in the U.S. By 2015, this had fallen about 25%.
Since the housing industry currently accounts for 15% to 18% of the nation's gross domestic product, any change in established behavior could have substantial consequences on the larger economy.
Researchers - Future - US - Economy - Questions
Researchers like me who are interested in the future of the U.S. economy are faced with some difficult questions about how millennials' behavior is changing the housing market.
My recent research suggests that both increases and decreases in home prices can be directly tied to where millennials choose to live. If a long-term behavioral change is afoot, and this generation continues not to buy homes, it will very directly impact GDP.
Research - Generations - Generations - Terms - Milestones
Research has shown that younger generations lag behind previous generations in terms of milestones like homeownership and marriage.
One of the assets that set previous generations apart is home equity. In 2001, Gen-Xers held an average of US$130,000 in assets, compared to millennials in 2016 that held almost 31% less.
Assets - Home - Equity - Whims - Housing
However, assets attributed to home equity are subject to the whims of the housing market. Just ask anyone still underwater on a home purchased before the financial crisis.
And home equity isn't just vulnerable to large-scale economic upheavals. In fact, it's constantly fluctuating.
Data - US - Census - Bureau - American
I analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey from about 800 of the most populous counties in the U.S., or about 85% of the population, in a study...
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The beatings will continue until moral improves.