NHPF Affordable Housing & Social Mobility Survey Compendium

Survey: Top Money Myths Affirmed by Recent College Graduates Gens X, Y & Z Unrealistically Optimistic?

New York, NY— 88% of college graduates under 30 strongly believe they will live as well or better than their parents, (contrary to available evidence), according to a new survey of 21 to 30 year-olds conducted by The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing. That is true even for many of those saddled with student loans. Other responses include: 55% have student loans, 10% owing more than $50k, yet nearly 40% (38.8) expect to pay their loans off in 1 to 3 years. In truth, although standard repayment “puts borrowers on a 10 year track” according to this report, the average bachelor’s degree graduate actually takes 21 years to pay off loans. 89% of the cohort are comfortable renting a home vs. owning for the foreseeable future, though 60% fully expect to be able to “afford the kind of housing they most prefer” in 1 to 5 years. 70% of respondents consider home ownership “important” to “very important.” Some research shows that home ownership is more achievable than previously thought for “Generation Rent” (young adults who, because of the high cost of home ownership, stagnant wages, and toxic debt, live in rented accommodations for longer periods than previous generations). However other economists believe that prices will continue to rise, as the construction industry under-builds (rather than increasing density) or incorrectly builds for this demographic. As a result, there will be too many large, expensive homes located in the suburbs and not enough smaller, more affordable for-sale units in the cities that this generation has gravitated to. In addition, it is much harder for younger works to qualify for home loans. 46% of graduates expect to live on their own, paying rent with no help from roommates or parents. The truth is, today, according to US Census data, more recent graduates are living at home than ever before. In markets like New York, Miami and Los Angeles, grads back under the family roof can number as high as 45%. Amidst this unbridled optimism, some responses are much more in touch with reality. For example, 66.6% expect to spend more than 30% of their income on rent.

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THE NHP FOUNDATION: THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

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