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Why has the housing market gotten so bad recently? (1 Viewer)

bosoxs45

Footballguy
I'm currently paying 3500 a month for rent outside of Boston. How did we reach this point that someone working an average salary can't live without roommates?

 

[scooter]

Footballguy
I'm currently paying 3500 a month for rent outside of Boston. How did we reach this point that someone working an average salary can't live without roommates?
When the economy is good, housing prices go up in places where there are jobs. Simple as that.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
Simple supply and demand.

I've talked with many about this the last few months.  There are a few dozen factors.

One of the best I heard is that when we had the crisis, investors scooped up many homes at 40 to 60 cents on the dollar and have been renting those out and continue to do so. That's taken a huge chunk of homes out of the market with no reason to sell because their ROI is very high and climbing.

People normally use to sell and buy a home every six years on average. That number is much higher now. People are remodeling instead of trading up because it's hard to sell a home in 24 hours and then go buy another competing against ten other offers and you have a contingent offer.

Another great reason, and responsible for rising rents and home prices is that builders didn't really build much the first five years after the recession. Most of the small ones went out of business. When they started building again, most builders have focused on higher end homes and aren't building nearly enough starter homes that the market badly needs right now.  

That said, the higher end markets are starting to see some signs of slowing down from the rapid increases in the past few months.   May - July here in Boise was was wicked with rapid price increases, but in the last two weeks, we've started to some slowing down and not every deal having multiple offers. Rates have gone up .5 to .75 since this time last year and that might be helping the slow down also.

 

MAC_32

Footballguy
Try and save some money. This current bubble will pop here in the next 3 years or so. 
Hoping it's on the north end. We should be ready to sell come 2020. Floated the idea out there of renting for a year or two if the bubble hasn't already popped. 

 
The sad part of that is, people are renting a house for say, $2000 a month when they could own the same house for $1400. 
I'm skeptical of this claim, do you have any support for it?  I'm a renter and my perception is that I pay less in rent each month than I would be paying for a mortgage on the same house.  Of course there are lots of reasons you might want to buy, I just don't think the monthly cost of mortgage v. rent is one of them.

 

Cjw_55106

Footballguy
I'm skeptical of this claim, do you have any support for it?  I'm a renter and my perception is that I pay less in rent each month than I would be paying for a mortgage on the same house.  Of course there are lots of reasons you might want to buy, I just don't think the monthly cost of mortgage v. rent is one of them.
You think the owner of your home is losing money every month? Trust me, his mortgage is less than your rent payment. 

Google your address. Zillow should have a decent value estimate. See how much its worth and what the monthly payments would be. Compare that to your rent. 

 

Koya

Footballguy
FYI, not sure this represents a "bad" housing market. It's actually a far worse condition, as our system is broken in terms of a detachment of the publics needs / a vast segment of the consumer base (aka the market) and the type of product that is being built by developers. The result is an acute and growing housing affordability crisis, nationwide - especially acute in thriving and in demand regions, cities/metros.  One contributor was the hugeness lag in housing starts as a result of the Great Depression - we were behind our growth / need trajectory before the dip in many markets, and are falling more behind each year. The delta between housing needs and what is being put on the market continues to grow each day - ESPECIALLY for lower cost homes and for rentals at affordable and moderate prices.

 
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Koya

Footballguy
Buckle Up kids... this is only the tip of the tip of the iceberg (just finished a 30 page memorandum/report for a client on their regions growing housing affordability crisis.  Some very high level thoughts from a national perspective:

Supply and demand - far more of the latter, especially for attainably priced and affordable housing. Crisis is even greater for rentals and multifamily ownership in the most popular urban cores, and anti-growth, economy strangling, suburbs. 

Focus on high end and luxury markets. This is due to a confluence of a lot of factors, but the current regulatory environment from local zoning laws to impact fees for developers (each house/apt unit has to pay for sewer or water hookup and other fees which are often no more than monetary extractions (aka taxes) on development), to the nature of how we've built our infrastructure to banking and finance regulations from individuals looking for mortgages to how real estate investment trusts have taken over entire industry segments to escalating labor and construction hard costs to reserve requirements and federal housing regulations that often act as decentives to producing attainable priced housing.

Constraint on supply - the reasons we are so out of whack between housing supply and housing demand to a large degree mirror those listed all, underpinned and accentuated by virulent anti growth and NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard). Especially more in demand, therefore higher cost and more well heeled communities, which take a hateful approach to much needed growth, including an essential balance to their high cost 500k (or in NY, 1mil or in Cali 1.5 mil) dollar single family home neighborhood after low density, single family home neighbourhood... no multifamily, pushback on anything attainable not to say workforce affordable housing that is needed to sustain a freakin' economy. The result is few projects get built, and those that do are aimed at high end markets to make better margins and assuage the greedy, selfish communities that claim to be oh so liberal (looking at you Bay Area and Cali, especially) but just put "those people" (they mean folks of lesser means, often also of different cultures/colors although the reality is most of what they stop is aimed at young professionals and retirees, including their peers or their own 10-15 year future hosing need. Which feeds into the above point that high end housing ends up representing a bulk of new supply, as almost all of it in some regions and communities 

The REAL cost for housing is more accurately reflected ny the cost for housing plus transportation. This combined cost is what you need to get to work, get essential goods, etc. The irony, closely entwined with the above three points, is that those areas which have least expensive housing usually have the highest associated transportation costs. For single family, it's the drive till you can afford principle where someone finds the type of home they want... but the closer in and therefore more desirable (generally speaking) bedroom communities have too high a cost.  Also, there is still lent up demand for urban living and therefore there are price premiums from 20% to over 100% price premiums (you read that right, more than double) for land in urban, walkable and mixed use neighborhoods, even more so if combined with good transit connections. So the people that have the least and could most use an apartment (or small home) that is within close proximity to work either by walking or transit so as not to need another car, are those who are least able to afford to live within most of those neighborhoods. Fact: If a family could go from a two-car family to a one-car, the cost savings represents $150,000 MORE in mortgage capability. You read that right, too. According to one of the most prominent experts in development, who owned and ran the world's largest firm that did/does economic and feasibility analysis and market studies for developers (Chris Leinberger of Brookings and head of GWUs real estate program, and noted author of The Option of Urbanism). 

 

eoMMan

Footballguy
I'm skeptical of this claim, do you have any support for it?  I'm a renter and my perception is that I pay less in rent each month than I would be paying for a mortgage on the same house.  Of course there are lots of reasons you might want to buy, I just don't think the monthly cost of mortgage v. rent is one of them.
I can't vouch for his exact numbers but he's sort of right.  A decent 1 BR apartment in my area (FL) is something like $1,200 to $1,500.  You can buy a 3 BR/2BA house for about $200k (pmnt of $1,074/month before RE taxes and insurance).  Granted, the house won't be huge but it's a house.  I think you can snag a townhouse or condo for $160k or so.    

 
You think the owner of your home is losing money every month? Trust me, his mortgage is less than your rent payment. 

Google your address. Zillow should have a decent value estimate. See how much its worth and what the monthly payments would be. Compare that to your rent. 
I just did, Zillow says I'm paying less by about $200 a month.  The owner of my home isn't losing money every month because he's owned the home for a long time, I'm not sure whether he even has a mortgage on it.

 
I can't vouch for his exact numbers but he's sort of right.  A decent 1 BR apartment in my area (FL) is something like $1,200 to $1,500.  You can buy a 3 BR/2BA house for about $200k (pmnt of $1,074/month before RE taxes and insurance).  Granted, the house won't be huge but it's a house.  I think you can snag a townhouse or condo for $160k or so.    
Wait, why are you comparing different types of housing?  How much do the houses and townhomes you're describing rent for?

 

Cjw_55106

Footballguy
I just did, Zillow says I'm paying less by about $200 a month.  The owner of my home isn't losing money every month because he's owned the home for a long time, I'm not sure whether he even has a mortgage on it.
Fair enough. That is not the case in my neck of the woods. Most owners here bought their houses in the past decade with the sole intention of renting them out. 

 

eoMMan

Footballguy
Wait, why are you comparing different types of housing?  How much do the houses and townhomes you're describing rent for?
I don't have that data but I'm sure they are more than a decent 1 BR apartment.  To validate my stance, I was assuming they were the same.

Do you think renting a townhouse/condo is cheaper than a 1 BR apartment?

 

Brunell4MVP

Footballguy
That's the biggest issue for people trying to get into ownership. Rent is so high, its nearly impossible for most to save anywhere near the 10-20% down payment. 

The sad part of that is, people are renting a house for say, $2000 a month when they could own the same house for $1400. 
This is far from true.  In most markets rent is close to the same as the monthly payments if you buy and put 20% down.   There are a couple of markets where rents are higher (SF comes to mind), but generally they are close to the same.

I own 8 houses.  The reason people with enough money buy the houses isn't for the monthly net, it's for the long term appreciation.  Sure I could put the money in the stock market, but owning the houses is a way to diversify.  Those houses are worth far more now than they were when I bought them.

Renting is an excellent solution if you don't have money for a down payment or won't be living in the house for more than 7 years.  It will save you money relative to owning and the associated costs with the ownership (taxes, maintenance, real estate fees, settlement costs, etc).

Zilllow is no more than an algorithm that doesn't look at the quality of the house.  I've been in the business for 15 years and Zillow is usually 5-15% off value either way.  It's really no more than a scam to make Realtors pay fees to protect their own listings (the names showing next to the listings if you don't pay them will be other agents who will then get the buyers).  78% of their revenue comes from Zillow Premier Agent fees that Agents pay to protect their listings and get about 10 leads a month.  I don't pay for it.  But Zillow has marketed itself beautifully, and they wisely snagged up that niche thanks to weak cohesion and complete distrust among the brokers in the industry. 

ETA:  I'll add that Redfin as the second most used home search engine went a bit further.  Not only do they have the search capability of Zillow, they are a broker.  So rather than snagging fees from agents of other companies, they direct the leads to their own people and get the commissions.  Their people are far less qualified.  The bar to entry in the industry is very low.  So they rebate it back.  But the service level is relatively mediocre.  Their agents often forget things that really hurt their buyers.  Compass is the next company stepping up.  They have quality agents and own a ton of market share in the larger cities, and are developing the search capability that's almost up to the others.

 
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I don't have that data but I'm sure they are more than a decent 1 BR apartment.  To validate my stance, I was assuming they were the same.

Do you think renting a townhouse/condo is cheaper than a 1 BR apartment?
It depends on a lot of different factors.  I rent a single family home, there are plenty of 1 BR apartments in this area that rent for more than what I pay each month.*

In thinking about this for the last few minutes, I suspect our different perspectives are based on what the real estate market looks like in the area of the country where you live.  Zillow estimates that the value of the home I live in has appreciated by 50% over the last seven years.  So it can still be very profitable for an owner to rent out his home, even if the rent he's receiving is equal to or less than his mortgage.  In areas of the country where home prices don't appreciate quickly or at all, that's obviously not the case.

*ETA:  OK, "plenty" may have been overstating it.  I did some googling and there appear to be some 1 BRs in my area that rent for more than I'm paying but not all that many.

 
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eoMMan

Footballguy
It depends on a lot of different factors.  I rent a single family home, there are plenty of 1 BR apartments in this area that rent for more than what I pay each month.

In thinking about this for the last few minutes, I suspect our different perspectives are based on what the real estate market looks like in the area of the country where you live.  Zillow estimates that the value of the home I live in has appreciated by 50% over the last seven years.  So it can still be very profitable for an owner to rent out his home, even if the rent he's receiving is equal to or less than his mortgage.  In areas of the country where home prices don't appreciate quickly or at all, that's obviously not the case.
If that's the case, then the owner clearlyvalues having a solid tenant who is paying on time and not wrecking his house.  

But I think it's rare that you find owners renting out houses for less than the mortgage.  Once you add in maintenance, insurance, etc....it makes no sense.  No way it's appreciating that much to make it worth it.

 

Da Guru

Fair & Balanced
In the area I live developers  have started buying 3-4 acre plots from older people jut outside of town who have maybe a 1200 SQ ranch on the land for detached condos.  So I am thinking that is nice to put some affordable housing in.   Then I see the sign "Detached Luxury Condo Homes"  starting at 650K

 

dgreen

Footballguy
Constraint on supply - the reasons we are so out of whack between housing supply and housing demand to a large degree mirror those listed all, underpinned and accentuated by virulent anti growth and NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard). Especially more in demand, therefore higher cost and more well heeled communities, which take a hateful approach to much needed growth, including an essential balance to their high cost 500k (or in NY, 1mil or in Cali 1.5 mil) dollar single family home neighborhood after low density, single family home neighbourhood... no multifamily, pushback on anything attainable not to say workforce affordable housing that is needed to sustain a freakin' economy. The result is few projects get built, and those that do are aimed at high end markets to make better margins and assuage the greedy, selfish communities that claim to be oh so liberal (looking at you Bay Area and Cali, especially) but just put "those people" (they mean folks of lesser means, often also of different cultures/colors although the reality is most of what they stop is aimed at young professionals and retirees, including their peers or their own 10-15 year future hosing need. Which feeds into the above point that high end housing ends up representing a bulk of new supply, as almost all of it in some regions and communities 
Yeah, I'd guess the biggest factor in many markets is that there's not enough new construction. Here's new permits by metro area for 2017. Compare Boston to some other cities.

  • Boston - 14,819
  • Atlanta - 32,890
  • Austin - 25,803
  • Charlotte - 21,425
  • Denver - 22,547
  • Dallas - 61,709
  • Houston - 42,673
  • Jacksonville - 12,954
  • Las Vegas - 13,902
  • Miami - 19,296
  • Orlando - 19,432
  • Phoenix - 29,653
  • Portland - 17,034
  • Raleigh - 14,213
  • San Antonio - 12,509
  • San Francisco - 16,977
  • Seattle - 27,371
  • Tampa - 18,280
If someone were to graph population and permits for these cities, Boston would stick out as a pretty big outlier.

 

dgreen

Footballguy
MSA Permits Population Pop/Perm
Austin 25,803 2,115,827 82.0
Raleigh 14,213 1,335,079 93.9
Jacksonville 12,954 1,504,980 116.2
Charlotte 21,425 2,525,305 117.9
Dallas 61,709 7,399,662 119.9
Denver 22,547 2,888,227 128.1
Orlando 19,432 2,509,831 129.2
Seattle 27,371 3,867,046 141.3
Portland 17,034 2,453,168 144.0
Las Vegas 13,902 2,204,079 158.5
Phoenix 29,653 4,737,270 159.8
Houston 42,673 6,892,427 161.5
Tampa 18,280 3,091,399 169.1
Atlanta 32,890 5,884,736 178.9
San Antonio 12,509 2,473,974 197.8
Washington 26,429 6,216,589 235.2
Minneapolis 14,677 3,600,618 245.3
San Francisco 16,977 4,727,357 278.5
Miami 19,296 6,158,824 319.2
San Diego 10,415 3,337,685 320.5
Boston 14,819 4,836,531 326.4
Riverside 13,979 4,580,670 327.7
New York 49,893 20,320,876 407.3
Los Angeles 31,198 13,353,907 428.0
Detroit 10,011 4,313,002 430.8
Chicago 21,869 9,533,040 435.9
Philadelphia 13,299 6,096,120 458.4


2017 data for permits and population for metro areas over 3,000,000 and some smaller metro areas with over 10,000 permits. For the most part, the cheaper locations are at the top and the more expensive locations are at the bottom. DC has been adding a lot of housing recently and I believe rents have stabilized somewhat. Detroit isn't approving a lot but I'm guessing they don't have a lot of people moving in so prices probably aren't getting crazy there.

This is just one year of data, of course. For some of these locations, maybe they had bigger years or smaller years in 2016 or 2015 or earlier. Also, since these are permits, it's probably more an indicator of what's coming rather than an explanation of current prices. But, not good for Boston when a place like San Francisco is approving new units at a faster rate compared to population.

 

Koya

Footballguy
Yeah, I'd guess the biggest factor in many markets is that there's not enough new construction. Here's new permits by metro area for 2017. Compare Boston to some other cities.

  • Boston - 14,819
  • Atlanta - 32,890
  • Austin - 25,803
  • Charlotte - 21,425
  • Denver - 22,547
  • Dallas - 61,709
  • Houston - 42,673
  • Jacksonville - 12,954
  • Las Vegas - 13,902
  • Miami - 19,296
  • Orlando - 19,432
  • Phoenix - 29,653
  • Portland - 17,034
  • Raleigh - 14,213
  • San Antonio - 12,509
  • San Francisco - 16,977
  • Seattle - 27,371
  • Tampa - 18,280
If someone were to graph population and permits for these cities, Boston would stick out as a pretty big outlier.
You also can't go by permits alone. Net in migration / population growth is as important.

Ill look for the link when I can, but the data shows clearly that cities such as New York and Dallas, which have by and large kept permits and construction of new housing units in line with population growth have kept their housing affordability relatively on par with where it was say 5-10 years ago.  Areas like California (can't recall but perhaps Bostons on that list) have not, creating a surge in housing costs. 

The double edged sword is that technically, these trends help existing homeowners as it pushes the price of heir houses up. Of course, that's a shallow and unnuanced view, is it discounts 1. That if someone sells there home they likely have to get a new one, and if they want to remain in those desirable areas and certainly their market/neighbourhood their new home will also see those price increases 2. Often the older generations  bought when land (and taxes) were far less of an economic burden which stands in the way of the next generation getting a foothold (and being pushed out where the transportation costs in dollars and time away from family is much higher) and 3. When the younger gen can't live anywhere within a region, eventually that strangles local economies and LONG term, could have significant negative impacts on any number of economic indicators and realities, including housing/land values.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
I'm skeptical of this claim, do you have any support for it?  I'm a renter and my perception is that I pay less in rent each month than I would be paying for a mortgage on the same house.  Of course there are lots of reasons you might want to buy, I just don't think the monthly cost of mortgage v. rent is one of them.
The vast majority of homes are cheaper to own than rent these days.   I have a Facebook ad that targets this and I've put about 70 buyers into homes off those ads in the last three years. 

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
For the love of all things, if you are using Zillow numbers as a basis for anything, you are a fool.  

 

Hawkeye21

Footballguy
I'm skeptical of this claim, do you have any support for it?  I'm a renter and my perception is that I pay less in rent each month than I would be paying for a mortgage on the same house.  Of course there are lots of reasons you might want to buy, I just don't think the monthly cost of mortgage v. rent is one of them.
I think that's pretty accurate in a lot of places.  My sister-in-law is paying more than my house payment and I have a nice place on about 6 acres.  She lives in a crappy house in a smaller city but it's one of the few places that allows pets.  She could save a lot of money by buying a house but they don't have enough for a down payment.  She's put herself in a crappy position financially.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
You can get an FHA loan with 3.5 percent down.   Every single one of my buyers I mentioned was on that program plus an Idaho housing program that allows them to finance 2.5 (620 score) or 3.0 (680 score) for ten years of that 3.5 percent down.  And the payments in every single one of the deals were at least $200 less than rent for the exact same house when they only put 0.5 or 1.0 percent down. 

I have two dozen buyers from three years ago that bought from 120 to 135 and their homes are now 185 to 200. I e had six of them sell and trade up this year with their equity.  Meeting another tonight.  

Biggest myth in the world is you need a lot down to buy a home.   Rates are still historically very low. Not one of my buyers has ever come close to losing their home later on.  You have to have a decent score and two year minimum work history. 

 
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jvdesigns2002

Footballguy
Putting this 100% on the housing market is not entirely fair.  Much of this has to do with the modern day citizen.  First of all--there is a very large portion of the American public that basically lives month to month or paycheck to paycheck.  Even a lot of people that make decent money do not have the discipline to live well enough below their means to save enough money for a healthy down payment on a home.   So much of the public would rather spend their money on traveling, nightlife, going out for food and drinks than they would stashing that money for a down payment.  If you look at Millenials in general--they have a hard time committing to anything.  They bounce around looking for new jobs even when they are currently employed.  They are not committed to any particular city and will re-locate without much thought.  I'm not saying that the housing market has zero to do with this dynamic--but it isn't the entire picture by any means.  

 

Koya

Footballguy
I love reading @Koyaon these topics
Appreciate the call out - it's great to share what I've learned with my friends here. And the rest of you miscreants, too :boxing:  

In all seriousness, i get paid a good hourly to help communities and cities with these very issues (and trying to help directly by doing my own development work in addition to that I've done in the past), so it's cool to see how it really does apply at the base level of people - too many in my industry and even in government look at these issue through the lens of regulations or how it "has always been done" combined with reducing the places in which we live, work and experience our lives as little or no more than boxes on an excel spreadsheet that represents investments, revenues and IRR.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
10 percent down on a 300k home is 30k.   

Your loan payment is only $140 less than putting down 3.5 percent.  

There are only a few scenarios where it makes sense to do that since almost anyone buying a home can afford the extra 140 and can better use that 30k fo fis up the house after they buy it or invest it. 

 

eoMMan

Footballguy
10 percent down on a 300k home is 30k.   

Your loan payment is only $140 less than putting down 3.5 percent.  

There are only a few scenarios where it makes sense to do that since almost anyone buying a home can afford the extra 140 and can better use that 30k fo fis up the house after they buy it or invest it. 
We did an FHA loan about 10 years ago and also got the first time homebuyers tax credit (when it didn't need to be paid back).  It worked out awesome.

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
Also, landlords get to depreciate their home over 27.5 years on their taxes.  I often show paper losses because of this on  my taxes while profiting quite a bit.  

 

Koya

Footballguy
Putting this 100% on the housing market is not entirely fair.  Much of this has to do with the modern day citizen.  First of all--there is a very large portion of the American public that basically lives month to month or paycheck to paycheck.  Even a lot of people that make decent money do not have the discipline to live well enough below their means to save enough money for a healthy down payment on a home.   So much of the public would rather spend their money on traveling, nightlife, going out for food and drinks than they would stashing that money for a down payment.  If you look at Millenials in general--they have a hard time committing to anything.  They bounce around looking for new jobs even when they are currently employed.  They are not committed to any particular city and will re-locate without much thought.  I'm not saying that the housing market has zero to do with this dynamic--but it isn't the entire picture by any means.  
You are gonna blame the millennials? 

1. Who raised the millenials to be what you claim them to be?

2. Who created a legal framework from local zoning to federal law that has funnelled development the way I described above?

3. Who bought a house, with far more accessible financing and programs for 25-100k where those same buyers could NEVER afford to buy that same house today at their current income levels, not to say if it were the 25-35 year old version of them?

4. Who has become the greatest force of upward price pressures in terms of organized anti-growth sentiment, literally denying the next generation the entrance to home ownership (or affordable rentals so they could save)?

5. Who took advantage of any number of additional financing options and realities such as early GI bill, lack of huge student debt, etc? While enjoying the uplift of an economy over decades as opposed to entering the workforce during the greatest economic climate since the Great Depression?

But yeah, it's the millennials fault. 

 

jvdesigns2002

Footballguy
You are gonna blame the millennials? 

1. Who raised the millenials to be what you claim them to be?

2. Who created a legal framework from local zoning to federal law that has funnelled development the way I described above?

3. Who bought a house, with far more accessible financing and programs for 25-100k where those same buyers could NEVER afford to buy that same house today at their current income levels, not to say if it were the 25-35 year old version of them?

4. Who has become the greatest force of upward price pressures in terms of organized anti-growth sentiment, literally denying the next generation the entrance to home ownership (or affordable rentals so they could save)?

5. Who took advantage of any number of additional financing options and realities such as early GI bill, lack of huge student debt, etc? While enjoying the uplift of an economy over decades as opposed to entering the workforce during the greatest economic climate since the Great Depression?

But yeah, it's the millennials fault. 
Huh?  All I said is that the living and spending habits of a moderate portion of the population has contributed to this dynamic. Where did I say it was all of the fault of the millennials. Pipe down man. 

 

Zegras11

Footballguy
I thought millennials were living at home with their parents?
They are actually the largest group buying homes right now, and one of a few dozen reasons why prices are going up, but are just a blip on why.  About 40% of my buyers are them.  I would kill to be 22 right now and buying my first home in the Boise area. There is so much growth going on here and it's not going to stop for 30 years. Just too much land.

 

Koya

Footballguy
Huh?  All I said is that the living and spending habits of a moderate portion of the population has contributed to this dynamic. Where did I say it was all of the fault of the millennials. Pipe down man. 
My point is it's not the living and spending habits nearly so much as the other factors - which, if anything, help dictate their living and spending habits. 

 

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