Student Debt Really Does Affect the Housing Market

The National Association of Realtors have confirmed what many may have suspected, which is that high levels of student loan debt are holding back the housing market. With indebted young people reaching an age where many would have previously become first time buyers, student loan debt is putting the brakes on home sales.

The National Association of Realtors’ study polled people with student debt who don’t own homes and are current in their repayments. 71 percent of these said that their student loan has delayed their decision to buy a home by a substantial amount of time – for many by more than five years. The housing market’s record low market share of first-time buyers (the lowest in nearly three decades) is tied to student loan debt according to the National Association of Realtors.

With student debt hampering purchasing power, it will be interesting to see what tools emerge to get people ready to enter the housing market. Fidelity now offers a student debt repayment tool, still in beta phase, which allows people to explore how altering monthly payments or securing a lower interest rate could affect the time it takes to repay loans, as well as suggesting lenders who can refinance. The path through student debt to home ownership isn’t clear, but it may call for new approaches to financing and legislation.

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Published on August 10, 2016