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“When it comes to housing prices, though, higher prices
may mean good news for some but mediocre news for the big picture."

Youth’s Impact on the Housing Market

Unemployment rates are dropping, and the economy is growing, according to the most recent jobs reports released by the US government. This is welcome news to many, especially those who have been under water or have feared losing their jobs throughout the years of economic uncertainty that Americans have been enduring. Although this news may be good in the larger sense, when it comes to the housing market, we need to look a bit further beneath the surface before celebrating.

It is true that the past year has shown some improvement to the housing market. Prices on homes are rising, which is a sign that the market may be closer to returning to its pre-depression stability and prosperity. When it comes to housing prices, though, higher prices may mean good news for some but mediocre news for the big picture. Higher prices, mixed with a still unstable buying population, may be keeping the housing market at a stand-still. The major culprit is an unstable buying environment for the housing market's most important group: first time home owners.

The younger spectrum of the population - aged 25 to 34 - have always been the strongest force behind a healthy housing market. First time homeowners, typically young professionals and newlywed hoping to start families, are a major driving force for the housing economy. However, for this sect of the population at present, futures are very uncertain. This is a populous who got out of college and entered the work force right as the economy was imploding. Jobs in the fields that these young would-be professionals paid high-ticket prices to become educated in were sparse. Many took jobs they were overqualified for or went back to school for further education - either a higher degree or a comparable degree in a new, potentially more sound, industry.

The current state of the higher education system in America has left these young professionals with crushing loans. And still despite some sunny spots in the economic forecast, jobs are not available enough to fuel a certain future that pays off the student loans and can also handle a mortgage payment long term. Further still, many individuals who are in their late twenties or early thirties are now professionally, due to a lack of jobs several years ago and a pursuit of more education to circumvent it, in the lower-level positions that many of their elders had in their early twenties. A shift is occurring that means success is reached later, as is financial stability or, if they're lucky, prosperity.

So what does this mean for the housing market? Although prices are stabilizing, a drastic downturn in motivated young buyers is keeping the market at large stagnant. Mortgage applications are down 42% from where they were one year ago.

Application to refinance existing mortgages are down by 52%. All of this means that the applications to purchase new homes are flatlining, leaving the housing market in some my form of limbo rather than allowing it to grow.
 

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About Orly Chen

  Orly Chen is a leading
Tenafly real estate agent
in Northern New Jersey
specializing in the Bergen
County area. Her
outgoing personality,
honesty and
approachability and
integrity make Orly
one of the most sought-
after agents in the
Northern New Jersey
real estate market

Read more...
 
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