Realtor forum: Shifting demographics affecting housing market

At a recent industry forum, Realtors from all over the U.S. talked about how the shifting demographics of homebuyers are influencing the housing market.

At a recent industry forum, Realtors from all over the U.S. talked about how the shifting demographics of homebuyers are influencing the housing market.

Various experts harnessed their opportunity to weigh in during the REALTOR University Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies forum, which took place at the 2014 REALTORS Conference & Expo on Nov. 9.

Many attendees placed a particular focus on millennials, defined as those between 18 and 33 years of age. Challenges obtaining financing, salaries that fall short of the average and a smaller inventory of housing have all combined to prevent these would-be homebuyers from being more active. However, many economists believe this is merely a phase.

Millennials have enjoyed improving employment prospects this year, as they saw their unemployment rate drop to 6 percent and experienced 60 percent job growth. As economic conditions strengthen in the coming years, their improvement will likely combine with a stronger labor market to make it easier for millennials to purchase homes.

However, many individuals in this particular demographic are encountering financial headwinds associated with their student loan debt, and Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, recently spoke to this development, according to Dallas Morning News.

"On average they pay about $300 a month for a recent graduate for student debt," he said when speaking with real estate agents during a recent meeting in New Orleans, the media outlet reported. "That's why many of them are still living with their parents."

Lisa Sturtevant, vice president of research for the National Housing Conference, spoke to this situation at the recent real estate forum. She asserted that economic conditions are preventing many millennials from participating in the housing market, so they will likely get more involved as the business climate strengthens.

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