Are Young Buyers In Danger of Missing the Boat?



What with prices bottomed out across the nation and mortgage interest rates at all-time record lows, there’s never been a better time to buy, or so the experts keep on telling us. So why is it that young people aren’t listening?

© Fotowerk - Fotolia.com

© Fotowerk – Fotolia.com

According to a recent article in Reuters, it would seem that contrary to all the expert advice, the majority of young people seem to be sitting on the sidelines. But why are they choosing to do this, and will they regret not making a move now later on in life?

Certainly, the majority of young people haven’t turned their backs on the idea of homeownership. A recent poll of renters by the real estate firm Trulia showed that as many as 93% of those in the so-called millennial generation have plans to buy a home at some point. But despite this, very few of them are making the move, with first time buyers accounting for just one third of all home buyers at present.

So could it be that most of the millennials simply aren’t in the position to take advantage of the market at present? According to Linda Stern of Reuters, that’s exactly where the problem lies.

“Generally those now in their 20s to early 30s—don’t have the jobs that qualify them for mortgages,” explains Stern.

In addition, many younger buyers simply don’t have the funds necessary to afford a down payment right now, while still others are frightened of entering the property market in light of the foreclosure crisis that is far from over, says Stern.

The good news is that these buyers may not need to make a move just yet in order to capitalize on today’s low prices. The Fed recently announced that it intends to keep interest rates low until the level of unemployment falls back under 6.5%, something that it doesn’t envisage happening until 2015 at the earliest.

During that time, real estate professionals can do their bit towards helping the younger generation get into a position where they can afford to buy a home.

The Reuters article suggests that realtors can help advise millenials on ways in which they can improve their credit score, and once they attain that magic FICO score of 740, protect it.

“If your score is anything less than 740, find out how you can raise it — paying down a credit card balance, putting more time between you and your last late fee,” writes Stern.

Other steps that young adults can take include shoring up their spending habits so that they can start putting some cash aside towards a down payment on their home, and learning about the different kinds of mortgages designed for first time buyers, such as those offered by the FHA.