Homeownership is down among all age groups to 63%, the lowest level in half a century, but the figure is much worse for those under 35—a record low of 34%. And as Catherine Rampell writes at the Washington Post, all kinds of theories are being floated to explain millennials' reluctance to buy houses, including the idea that they hate the idea of owning anything. But, really, don't overthink it: Young people aren't buying houses because they can't afford them, writes Rampell. Thus, "the reasons behind this homeownership slide are certainly nothing to celebrate," she writes. "But the slide itself might be."
After all, millennials are young and still generally figuring out their career paths, and they've entered an economy in which it's likely they're making lousy money. If they own a home, that locks them into a geographical area and makes them less mobile, less likely to pursue a better job when it comes up. Even if unintentional, then, this lack of homeownership might be a good thing. After all, "were it not for the psychic and sentimental benefits of homeownership, it’s otherwise hard to imagine financial advisers counseling their clients to dump all their savings into a single, giant, highly illiquid asset." Click for the full post.