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Millennials, It’s on the House!

Many Millennials are finding it difficult to gain full independence and purchase homes. Steadily becoming the most prominent demographic of people in America, they have surpassed the Baby Boomer generation by around 8 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet Millennials earn 20 percent less than their parents’ generation. Forty-two percent of people age 18-34, according to the Pew Research Center, are living with their parents, which is the highest level since 1940.

“[It’s] the availability of jobs,” said Craig T. Olwert, CSUN Professor of Urban Studies and Planning. “Most of the millennials haven’t found well-paying jobs to help cover the costs [of home ownership]. I think with the recession finally really recovering on the job side, we’re going to see that start changing.”

California Association of Realtors Research Analyst Azad Amir-Ghassemi said the way residences are changing hands is shifting. “We’re going to go into a European model of homeownership,” he said, “where Baby Boomers have their homes, and then they transfer their homes down to their kids.”

Getting a higher education may lower some millennials’ ability to purchase a home. A survey by Amir-Ghassemi found that as many as 25 percent of millennials said that their student loans are keeping them out of home ownership.

The notoriously high cost of living in Southern California only makes matters more challenging.

“The average price of real estate here in Southern California is $472,000,” Sales Manager of Global Premiere Properties Adam Arteaga said. “And to qualify for a home loan like that, you’re looking at an income of almost $90,000.”

That qualification will be difficult for those without good credit. “Usually the banks like to look for a FICO score of about 650 and above,” Arteaga said.

The cost to rent in the Los Angeles area is also becoming not feasible. Research and analysis firm Axiometrics shows the average monthly rate for a one-bedroom apartment in L.A. County is $2,300, and the Inland Empire, it’s over $1,500.

But Arteaga said the situation is looking less dismal than in years prior. “Forty-five percent of all houses sold last year were [to] first-time homebuyers. For what rents are going for right now, you can almost obtain a home mortgage for that.”

Moderator: Noemi Salcedo

Producer: Dana Lites

Anchor: Flor Tolentino

Social Media Editors: Dana Lites and Char’Tre Steward

Reporters: Trevor Edwards, Dana Lites, Cynthia Marin, Noemi Salcedo, Char’Tre Steward and Flor Tolentino

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