Millennials Ascendant in Real Estate and Debt

December 6, 2017
House exterior
Photo: Pixabay

New data show that millennials took the greatest share of all new mortgages, and buying a greater share in all price tiers of the housing market while taking on more debt. 

A generation burdened with student loan debt, millennials are starting families and buying houses in an economy where home price growth is outstripping wage growth. "It's a mixed bag for millennials," Danielle Hale, chief economist for said, adding, "The important metric is looking at down payment percentages and debt-to-income ratios, and the fact that those have been pretty consistent for millennials is a positive sign."

Despite millennials taking on a greater amount of debt as they reach for those more expensive houses, their debt-to-income ratios haven't gone up much—a sign that their incomes are improving as well. In October 2015, the average debt-to-income ratio of a millennial mortgage applicant was 37 percent. In October of this year, it was 38 percent.

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