One thing that hasn’t been underreported in housing in 2014 is the crushing amount of student debt out there, but Nick Timiraos looks into just how much it impacts housing and mortgage finance in the Wall Street Journal.
Higher levels of student debt will reduce U.S. home sales by around 8% this year, according to a report released Friday by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an advisory firm.
The paper examines the impact of student debt on purchase activity for households under age 40. Those households account for around two-thirds of student debt holders. It concludes that sales of new and existing home will total 5.26 million this year, with some 414,000 “lost” households as a result of rising student debt burdens.
Higher debt burdens will defer home purchases for many borrowers while requiring others to buy a less expensive home in order to qualify for a loan or save for a down payment.
The paper estimates that every $250 per month in student loan debt reduces borrowers’ purchasing power by $44,000, and since 2005, some 3.8 million additional households have at least $250 per month in student debt.
Put differently, around 35% of households under age 40 have monthly student debt payments exceeding $250, up from 22% of households in 2005.