The Atlantic senior associate editor Gillian B. White looks for answers to why more people aren't buying homes and finds it all has to do with equity.

For many young people, buying a home would be cheaper than renting, but the numbers only tell part of the story, according to White, who notes that many don't have the money for a down payment. And a down payment is only the first part of the equation--emergency funds are also a necessity. 

The problem is even worse in those places millennials most want to live:

In August 2015, the median price

 of a home in the U.S. was around $292,000, which would require saving up nearly $30,000 for purchase. Additionally, it’s not like they’re going off to buy a house the moment they have $30,000 saved up—for example, financial wisdom suggests saving up to six months worth of expenses as an emergency fund.

And that difficult proposition is based on the national median home price, but young people skew toward living in cities with steep home prices. 
In some of the nation’s more expensive cities, saving up for a down payment would require more than $40,000, plus savings for a rainy day. 
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