More are living with their parents than in the past decade.

Even as the economy improves, millennials still earn too little and have too much student debt to leave the nest.

Twenty-three percent of millennials live with their mom and dad, says a study from Zillow. That’s up 9 percentage points since 2005, before the Great Recession. And more than any year in the past 10 years.

“As rents outpaced incomes over the past decade, young people turned to their families in large numbers to ease the housing cost crunch,” says Zillow economist Aaron Terrazas. “But even as the labor market has improved, the family safety net has yet to unwind. Living with parents may allow young adults to pursue work or a passion that may not be especially lucrative, or save enough money for first and last month’s rent or a down payment on a home of their own.”

Why can’t millennials buy their own homes?

Between rents rising at fast rates and wages growing slowly over the past five years, more younger Americans have struggled to afford their own place.

Of course this doesn’t affect all members of this age group. In fact, the study notes that there are 12 million adults age 24-36 living with their parents. Twelve percent are unemployed, and 28 percent are recent college graduates, which that number is up from 19 percent in 2005. reported in May that high rents are forcing more millennials into homeownership. The generation is the largest group of home shoppers, with the highest student debt. Sixty-two percent of millennials have student debt, compared to only 9 percent of Gen Xers, according to

“Existing debt and lower down payments leave younger shoppers more exposed than others to the impact of rising mortgage rates and record-high home prices,” says economist Danielle Hale.

How do you afford a home when costs are too high, and you have a lot of debt? To start, you sacrifice what you truly want.

Difficult housing decisions

For those millennials who can afford to move out of their parents’ homes, the odds of finding their dream home aren’t favorable.

Eighty-four percent of millennial homebuyers would give up one home feature to live in their ideal neighborhood, according to real estate listing site Trulia. Meanwhile, 89 percent would be willing to give up one or more neighborhood features to live in their ideal home.

Thirty-five percent of these younger buyers are heart set on making a purchase by next year. But 98 percent of them have encountered obstacles that keep them from making their deadline. And their main concern? Rising home prices. They afflict 40 percent of this group on their home search. And 31 percent are worried about having enough saved for a down payment.

“For millennials, the dream of homeownership is alive and well, but with prices going up and inventory continuing to shrink, this new generation of buyers are facing more obstacles than any other demographic,” says Trulia economist Cheryl Young. “With tight budgets and fewer choices on the market, most millennials are forced to make trade-offs and are more willing than other generations to give up home and neighborhood features in order to find their ideal home.”

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Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of


millennials, student loans

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Article last modified on July 9, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Their Own Homes - AMP.