This article appeared in CBS Sacramento.
by Drew Bollea
Millennials want what their parents have. They want to eventually have kids, a good job, and to own a home, but attaining that future is becoming more and more challenging in California, that’s according to Joel Kotkin, an RC Hobbs Presidential Fellow in urban futures at Chapman University.
“It’s not such a pretty picture,” said Kotkin.
Kotkin has been researching and writing about housing issues in California for more than 30 years.
“Buying a house in California, if you’re a young person is really hard,” said Kotkin.
On Tuesday, he was speaking to a room of realtors across the state about millennials, their trends, and the issues facing them moving forward.
He says the homes just aren’t there. And the price points for a person between the ages of 24 to 35 are unreachable compared to other states in the country.
“Current circumstances, unless you’re making a really good living, you’re going to be a renter,” said Kotkin.
According to the housing blog Redfin, a California teacher making an average salary can only afford 17 percent of the homes available.
“We’re just doing the best we can with it,” said Nick Gough. The 23-year-old is a millennial and a realtor.
Gough says some in his age bracket are waiting later in life to buy a home while others have no choice.
“They’re also kind of forced to have to wait longer and a lot of that has to do with not making as much money right out of college as our parents did,” said Gough.
California Homeownership is one of the lowest in the country. Mainly because potential first-time home buyers aren’t looking. According to the American Community Survey, 38 percent of millennials are living with their parents.
“Right now it’s a struggle,” said Brianna Bouffard, a relator in Ventura County, “there is not a lot of houses on the market and the prices are going up and up in value which a lot of times with millennials is pricing them out of the market.”
Those millennials who are wanting to own something and start a family are packing up and looking for the American dream elsewhere.
In the last 15 years, the Bay Area and Los Angeles have seen population declines by double digits, while California cities to the east – like Sacramento have seen a population increase of 9 percent. Many major cities in Texas are also seeing a population boom since 2000.
“We just need to create more avenues for those millennials,” said Bouffard.
Opportunities to enter the housing market in Sacramento are getting snatched up quickly. According to the Sacramento Association of Realtors, homes under $400,000 are only staying on the market for about a month.