NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – Living Preferences of Young Households

Many young people just don’t have the money to buy a home. So renting isn’t unusual when you’re young, but many young households today are skeptical about home owning, even if they do have the money. Why? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

Well, it’s because their mindset about where to live and how to live was really set in the housing crash. Some of us have been in the housing market for decades. So we understand that there are good years for the housing market — where your house earns money, if you will, value goes up — and there have been bad years.

If you’re a young person in your mid-twenties the only thing that you really witnessed personally is the housing crash. And so I think it is very normal for young people right now to be very skeptical about buying a home.

Plus you add on top of that the fact that if you’re young you’re often unsettled in your profession. In your personal life, you’re more apt to move. So a lot of young people today see that renting is really the thing to do for them, and they are shying away from owning a home. Now is this going to stay with those young people forever? I don’t think so.

I think if the housing market comes back as we begin to see homes appreciate and as young people age and settle down, raise a family, I think they’ll come around — many of them — to see that owning a house is potentially the best thing for them.


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