Yes, the wretched economy is seeing more recent college grads than ever return home.
Check out Rona's great blog on this trend - one survey found that 85 percent of the Class of 2011 planned to move back home.
But is there more than just pure economics behind this shift? Has the prospect of camping out with mom and dad simply lost its stigma and now presents a warm and cozy alternative?
Earlier generations of college students struggled mightily to avoid moving back with their parents. I know, having entered the labor force back in 1991, when New England was slammed with one of the worst downturns it had ever seen.
The idea of returning home and camping out in the basement was a fate worse than death. To me, it seemed nothing less than a gut-wrenching admission of defeat - that my hard work in college and my dreams of launching a career had been all for naught.
OK, I lucked out - I managed to land a job the day I graduate. But while it was in the field, the pay was poverty wage - barely enough to pay for a studio in good old downtown Haverhill.
Yet the idea of moving back home didn't seem like a viable idea. I love my World War II/Depression era parents but I didn't want to move back with them. And frankly, they had retired and didn't want me moving back either.
But I wonder whether Baby Boom generation parents are simply more fun to live with - with a more relaxed view of life and success and at what age adolescence should end, whether you like it or not.
That may be a little harsh, but since the 1990s there has been a growing acceptance of the idea that moving back home after college is just another phase on the road to adulthood - a halfway house, if you will.
Whatever the cause, it's yet another shift that bodes ill for the real estate market as a whole.
Let's face it: Until junior moves out to that first apartment and begins saving for a home, the real estate market will continue to suffer.
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