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Median City Condo Price Ticks Up; Student Debt Hobbling Some Millennials

By DNAinfo Staff | September 21, 2017 1:33pm | Updated on September 21, 2017 2:32pm
 Student debt is delaying millennials buying their first home by seven years, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Student debt is delaying millennials buying their first home by seven years, according to the National Association of Realtors.
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CHICAGO — The median sales price of a condo in the city was $320,000 in August, up some 5.6 percent over August of 2016, according to a state Realtors group.

The single-family-home median sales price was $230,000, up 2.3 percent in the same time period, according to Illinois Realtors.

However, the city market remains tight: In August, there were 9,162 homes of all types for sale. Last year at this time, there were 9,759, the group's monthly report said.

The city of Chicago saw a 4.5 percent year-over-year home sales decline in August, with 2,716 sales — down from 2,844 in August 2016.

Meanwhile, student debt is delaying millennials buying their first home by seven years, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors.

"The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost," the national group's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a prepared statement.

Yun said that even older millennials with higher incomes "say they’re being forced to delay homeownership because they can’t save for a down payment and don’t feel financially secure enough to buy.”

The report, co-sponsored with American Student Assistance, was based on surveys of millennials born between 1990 and 1998 and older millennials born between 1980 and 1989.

The study found that 20 percent of millennial respondents own a home.

The respondents said they are typically carrying a student debt load ($41,200) that surpasses their annual income ($38,800). Some 79 percent borrowed money to finance their education at a four-year college; 51 percent are repaying a balance of more than $40,000.

About 60 percent say that if they didn't have a student loan, they would put that money toward buying a home.

The report says there are ways for people with student debt to get mortgages, but many millennials are unaware of them. It calls on the federal government to do a better job of educating would-be homebuyers. It also calls for tax breaks to encourage businesses to pay off student loans as part of their employee compensation packages.

"We cannot allow fear of debt to hold students back from the pursuit of higher education, but neither can we allow the acquisition of student debt to hold them back from other economic investments," the report concludes.