Not just here in North Dakota, but coast to coast---grown kids are still living at home.  When I was a kid, most young people who turned 18 could not wait to get out of their parents’ houses and purchase a home as soon as they could.  It meant freedom!  Independence!    However, this trend is changing rapidly with today’s young folks. 



According to census data taken from 2006 to 2011, millennials (people between the ages of 25 and 34 – mostly the children of baby boomers) experienced the largest decline in home ownership rates in the U.S. A study from Pew Research says that 36% of millenials (or 1 in 3) are still living under their parents’ roof!  There has not been that many since the 1960’s.  Why are these young people forgoing the goals their parents aspired to?  Obviously, money/economy is the main reason, but surprisingly, it’s not the only one.

*Finances – Due to rising costs of college tuition and living expenses, and a rise in the number of students in school (during the economic slump, many more chose to go to school due to lack of available jobs), many millennials have a lot of student loans to pay off.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that of the $1.4 trillion that Americans owe on student loans, 67% of this debt is owed by people age 40 or younger.   They also have a lot of credit card debt, and many are underemployed or unemployed.

*Fear – Millennials have seen their parents and other relatives struggle; they’ve seen neighbors lose homes, and that scares them that they could experience that, too.  They fear what could happen if they lose their jobs, or come up on unexpected medical expenses, especially given the state of the job market.

*Parents Make it Easier –By moving back home, young adults get perks that don’t come with a starter home – they get free food, laundry service, cleaning, job advice, wi-fi/cable, etc.  This is likely why 78% of millennials living with Mom and Dad are perfectly happy with this arrangement.

*Mobility – Many millennials say that home ownership is not a priority at this point in their lives, given the changing work environment.   If they don’t own a home, they are more “geographically flexible,” or able to take job opportunities that come up in other cities, short-term gigs, and freelance projects.  They feel they can advance faster if they put off home ownership until later in their lives.