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Student Loans Killing Home Sales

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 3, 2014 08:59 AM

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OK, it doesn't take an Einstein to put these two trends together.

Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies just came out with its annual tome on the housing market.

Among the many scintillating stats packed into the 44-page report is this rather revealing number: The homeownership rate for those in their 20s and early 30s plunged 8 percent over the past decade.

Meanwhile, in a separate section, the Harvard report notes that student debt levels have gone through the roof.

In fact, number of young adults stuck paying off $50,000 or more in student loans has tripled over the past decade, the Harvard study finds.

Here's more from the Harvard report:

Between 2001 and 2010, the share of households aged 25-34 with student loan debt soared from 26 percent to 39 percent, with the median amount rising from $10,000 to
$15,000 in real terms. Within this group, the share with at least $50,000 in student debt more than tripled from 5 percent to 16 percent. For these borrowers, the need to pay off these outsized loans will likely delay any move to homeownership.

Of course, the reason student debt is going up isn't so hard to figure up, though I couldn't find the word "tuition" in the Harvard report.

In fact, college tuition is the only thing going up as fast as housing prices.

The net cost of college jumped 10.5 percent to nearly $30,000 a year since the Great Recession, the Globe reports. That's the amount most families pay after aid and grants are factored in.

And of course, home prices and college tuition are soaring even as wages stumble along in neutral.

Completely unsustainable, yet the costs keep piling up.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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