Millennials aren't buying houses because of frightening facts—not avocado toast
No, avocado toast is not the reason why millennials are foregoing home ownership—regardless of how many slices of $5 toast they could order.
Millennials have been the subject of relentless (and unfair) banter for Baby Boomers since the early-2000s. And as they (including myself) began entering the workforce, it was clear the generational divide was more than just lifestyle-deep; it, too, could be seen in the stark pay gap between the two oil-and-water-like demographics.
Let’s start with these glaring changes. College tuition prices have risen nearly 1,700 percent. Let’s do the rough math: A four-year liberal arts degree from, say, NYU, with two years abroad costs roughly $300,000. Meanwhile, housing prices have skyrocketed to record highs.
And then there’s this factor: According to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the median earnings for a full-time worker between the age of 18 to 34 was $35,845 in 1980. By 2000 the same age-defined cohort was earning $37,355. Now, however, a decade-and-change later, full-time workers between 18 and 34 had median earnings of just $33,883.
In many circumstances, the average median annual income for a millennial under the age of 28 falls far below the reported average by the U.S. Census Bureau. For the vast majority of the aforementioned age cohort, the observed salaries fall somewhere between $19,000 and $22,000.
That’s not only startling, but incredibly disheartening.
Yes, you read that right: millennials are, statistically, poorer than any other generation seen in the past four decades. This epic wealth inequality was caused by reckless government policies of extreme money-printing and taxpayer-funded bailouts to pay bankers’ bonuses.
This essentially means the average twenty- or thirty-something is making around $5,000 less per year—all while having to pay into an inflated economic climate. For example: the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was less than $1,900 in the mid-90s. Now, over two-decades later, that same apartment is thrice as much, approaching nearly $6,000 dollars a month to rent.
Oh, and don’t forget that’s not included utility bills—which, too, have jumped in recent years.
Look at all the figures above, and it’s no wonder the average millennial has little to no savings or any long-term investments and financial assets—let alone a house of their own. So paying a 20 percent down-payment toward a $188,000 property—which just so happens to be the median price for a house in the United States, right now— just isn’t happening.
Millennials might, actually, still be living in their childhood home; people between the ages of 22 and 26 are flocking back to their parent’s or guardian’s homes in record numbers, due to the wage disparity. And how is it fair to the parents to help alleviate the burden in some cases over time?
No amount of money saved on foregoing a slice of avocado toast could make-up for these horrible and frightening facts.