For millennials, this is the greatest hurdle to homeownership
As far as Tatiana Skomski is concerned, the American dream is alive and well — although just beyond reach.
Skomski, 24, lives with her boyfriend, K.J., and their dog, Lola, in Portland, Ore. They picture getting married, buying a house and starting a family.
“It’s a conversation we have probably every day,” she said. “I recognize we are young, but it feels impossible that one day we will have a down payment for a home when we can just pay our bills every month.”
More than a quarter of millennials said buying a home was the life milestone they prioritize the most, even over getting married, having children and retiring, according to the latest Country Financial Security Index.
Still, the homeownership rate for the largest generation in U.S. history is lower than that of their parents and grandparents at the same age, according to a separate report by the Urban Institute, a policy research group.
Sky-high rents, unprecedented student loan debt and delayed marriage reduce the likelihood of being able to buy a home, the institute found.
Skomski and her boyfriend work full time; however, they also have student loans — each owe around $30,000, roughly on par with the national average per graduate.
About half of 18-to-34-year-olds said affording a down payment was the single greatest financial barrier to homeownership, according to the Urban Institute and Country Financial. (Despite most Americans’ belief that you must put 20 percent or more down, 71 percent of current homeowners made down payments of 20 percent or less, according to Census data.)
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