Millennials have entered the age typical of homeownership (in historic terms), but are not actually doing much buying. Recent research from the National Association of Home Builders finds that, rather than moving to form new households, many millennials simply opt to remain in their parents' nests.
As of 2014, more than 20% of young adults ages 25 to 34, or 8.8 million, lived in homes of their parents or in-laws. NAHB research analyst Natalia Siniavskaia digs into the issue and comments on the reasons--other than mom's unbeatable meatloaf--underlying the trend. Siniavskaia writes:
"The study points at the lack of income growth for young adults as a factor undermining their economic ability for independent living and homeownership. The analysis shows that 25-34 year olds were most severely affected by stagnating incomes. This age group showed virtually no personal income growth since 2006 while the median income for older groups grew almost 11 percent.
The income gap also widened between homeowners ages 25-34 and those who stay with parents. Young adults who own a home are the top earners in their age group. They also registered significant gains in personal income (though not adjusted for inflation), with the median income rising from $26,200 in 2000, to $31,200 in 2006 and further to $35,000 by 2014. Meanwhile, young adults living with parents earn significantly less than their peers do, partially because they are twice as likely to be unemployed. More importantly, this group registered no growth in median personal income since 2000. More concerning, their median personal income is now lower than it was 14 years ago, $15,000 in 2014 compared to $16,000 in 2000."