A number of news articles during the thick of the housing bust and even some today suggest that younger households have been spooked out of buying a home because of market uncertainties.
“The younger you are, the more freaked out you are likely to be by the housing market crash,” says Micael Derby in an October 2011 Wall Street Journal blog post called “Next Generation Less Confident About Home Ownership.”
“You can . . . conclude that young peoples’ aversion to home owning is an overreaction to a unique recession,” says Derek Thompson in “The End of Ownership: Why Aren’t More Young People Buying More Houses?” in the February 2012 issue of The Atlantic.
This line of thinking has a compelling logic to it but a researcher at Washington State University says it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. He conducted an analysis of U.S. Census population figures and also of data from the America Community Survey, which is an affiliated Census research project, and found young households actually have higher homeownership rates than baby boomers and Gen Xers when they were at a comparable stage in their lives.
He also conducted a survey of young people in real estate classes at his university, a group that’s predisposed to be interested in real estate, and says this group’s intention to buy property grew over the course of a semester even though the downturn was examined during the period.
Glenn Crellin is the author of the study and he’s no newcomer to real estate. He’s the associate director of the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at Washington State University and a former economist at NAR. He published his paper in the inaugural issue of the Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies, published by REALTOR® University’s Center for Real Estate Studies.