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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.

The economic reality of twentysomethings living with parents

June 22, 2012

My parents wanted me out of the house by 18. That was four years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I wanted out, too. And so it was off to college while my parents cracked open a celebratory bottle of vino.

Imagine our collective disappointment when I moved back in two years later.

After transferring to a university close to home, living on my own would’ve been an economical mistake — especially considering the student loans accrued over the years.

And what was once a stigma, is moving closer to the norm.

A Census Bureau report that I recently wrote for The Ticker showed that the number of shared households in the nation increased by 11.7% from 2007 to 2010, as a means of coping with economic difficulties.

Even more notable though, adult children (age 24-35) accounted for almost half of these people living under someone else’s roof, growing from 1.2 million in 2007 to 15.8 million in only three years after the recession.

"New and recent graduates are delayed in starting their careers and this delays household formation," said Marianne Sullivan, SVP of Credit Portfolio Strategy Underwriting & Pricing, for Fannie Mae.

While self-sufficiency upon adulthood still remains a strong sentiment, as the case of my parents, that stark increase of young adults staying at home or with someone else — a 13-fold increase — shows that people are revising their values to adapt to hard times.

“The official poverty rate for young adults aged 25 to 34 living with parents was 8.4 percent in 2010, but if poverty status was determined by personal income, 45.3 percent would have been in poverty,” the Census report said.

See, dad? It’s not just me.

pdang@housingwire.com

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