Realtor.com’s George Ratiu on the nation’s student debt crisis
Today’s HousingWire Daily features a rerun episode with Realtor.com’s Senior Economist George Ratiu. In this interview, Ratiu discusses how student loan debt is impacting the nation’s financially strained borrowers.
Here is a small preview of today’s interview, lightly edited for length and clarity:
HousingWire: With $1.6 trillion attributed to student loan debt, how has this impacted the economic pursuits of this demographic?
George Ratiu: Excellent question. So, for Millennials, specifically, when you look at major life stages, and of course, economic decisions, what we’ve really seen is a constant delay, right? Millennials came out of college roughly around the time it became hard to find jobs, so many continued in school. So, by the time most of them started a job, it was later than prior generations. As a result, their level of savings, in addition to just having to service this debt, was delayed. So, we saw careers starting later, home-buying starting later, people getting married later, and also having children later in life. Every one of these delays is really playing a compounding role.
This generation, which we’ve heard for the last 15 years won’t buy homes and don’t buy anything, were simply delaying their decisions and in fact, are similar to prior American generations in that they’re still interested in homeownership. They are buying cars as soon as they have kids, they’re looking at homes wherever the good school districts are. So, while they have similar characteristics to prior generations, obviously the main trade is that they have been delaying decisions, which has certainly impacted real estate as well.
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