A New View of Boomerang Millennials

By James Woodard

February 6, 2017 5 min read

First, a bit of clarification. Boomerangs are young people who have moved out of their parents' home only to move back in. Millennials are those born during the 1980s and 1990s. In this report, we are focusing on those born between 1980 and 1984.

A recent study found a higher incidence of "re-launch" for millennials with a bachelor's degree compared to those with a lower education attainment and a higher incidence of "re-launch" for millennials from higher parental-income households compared to lower parental-income households. A "re-launch" occurs when a young adult moves out, returns to the parental household and then leaves again.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) examined the research using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth.

"Understanding the makeup of those who return home could shed light on the timing of the release of what we know is quite a bit of pent-up demand," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

"The data may indicate that while this age group is delaying what we think of as typical milestones, the combination of resources and education and what we have found about their preferences suggests growing housing demand in the years ahead."

Ninety percent of those born between 1980 and 1984 left home before the age of 27 — but then more than half returned to their parents' homes. Of that group, those with a bachelor's degree or higher had the highest share of returning to the parental home at 55.5 percent.

Another important difference is gender: Twelve percent of men in this age group never left the parental home; whereas, 7.6 percent of women stayed. And although women are more likely to boomerang, they are also more likely to leave again, NAHB reported.

Studies continue to show that the desire to own a home remains strong for these millennials. Despite data showing that the age group is delaying household formation, they remain a key demographic in the housing market, and the pent-up demand is expected to translate into housing growth in the coming years.

Q: How many homes are still in active foreclosure?

A: It depends on what you consider a property foreclosure. RealtyTrac, a source for housing data, recently released its first-quarter 2015 Zombie Foreclosure Report.

It found that as of the end of January 2015, 142,462 homes actively in the foreclosure process had been vacated by the homeowners prior to the bank's repossessing the property, representing 25 percent of all active foreclosures.

The total number of zombie foreclosures was down 6 percent from a year ago, but the 25-percent share of total foreclosures represented by zombies was up from 21 percent a year ago.

"While the number of vacated zombie foreclosures is down from a year ago, they represent an increasing share of all foreclosures because they tend to be the problem cases still stuck in the pipeline," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Q: Is FHA taking a risk in lowering its fees?

A: Not according to FHA officials. Federal Housing Administration officials stressed to lawmakers that the agency is not putting its finances at risk by its recent move to reduce the insurance fees it charges homebuyers when it still hasn't met its mandated capital ratio funds rate.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who oversees FHA, told lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee that FHA's actions "maintain a careful balance between strengthening our fund and advancing our mission. It simply isn't right to unduly burden borrowers in the present because of the misbehavior of others in the past."

Effective January 26, FHA lowered its annual mortgage insurance premiums by half a percentage point from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. The move is expected to save an average borrower $900 annually, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

To find out more about Jim Woodard and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. Jim Woodard's email: [email protected]

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