Photo: Mr.TinDC / Flickr
Photo: Mr.TinDC / Flickr

Why first-time homebuyers just aren’t buying

Young adults don’t buy houses like they used to.

A new report from the National Association of Realtors shows since 1981, the rate of home ownership among 18-35-year-olds is just 34.1 percent. That is the lowest amount since 1994. Last year, the number was even worse at 32 percent.

“Monthly feedback from realtors so far this year indicates that sales to first-time buyers have remained subdued in today’s tough market of swiftly rising home prices and meager supply levels at affordable prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

The NAR report focuses on national trends, but their data about first-time homebuyers holds true in Atlanta.

According to an extensive report from July, home prices in metro Atlanta are up 5.4 percent from a year earlier. Adam Coker, a market investment executive for U.S. Trust in Atlanta, told the AJC falling unemployment was the cause.

 On the supply side, Atlanta’s home shortage is the worst in the nation. This, while great for anyone selling a house in a good school district, means it’s even harder for cash-strapped millennials to afford a down payment.

The NAR study cited “ongoing hardships” faced by millennials that include underemployment, student debt and waiting to marry and have children.

Again, this national trend applies here. According to a Zillow study released in May 2016, not only do few Atlanta millennials own houses, but a high number live with their parents. 19.7 percent of working-age young people lived with mom and dad, the 15th-highest amount of the cities Zillow surveyed.

If you want to buy a house in a city that’s so-so for first-time homebuyers, here’s how the neighborhood prices have changed:

* Cobb: 16.94 percent less inventory, 1.91 percent higher prices

* Gwinnett: 21.84 percent less inventory, 6.59 percent higher prices

* Cherokee: 18.41 percent less inventory, 7.33 percent higher prices

* DeKalb: 11.41 percent less inventory, 8.81 percent higher prices

* Paulding: 25.49 percent less inventory, 15.71 percent higher prices

* Fulton: 4.55 percent less inventory, 8.16 percent higher prices

* Forsyth: 2.46 percent more inventory, 3.8 percent higher prices

Read more:

Millennials among us: See where they live in metro Atlanta

Price report: Housing rebound still choppy

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