From the Star Ledger:
It used to be part of the American Dream — the cute house in the suburbs with a garage and a big yard for the kids.
Now, however, more and more New Jersey residents are opting out.
In the last ten years, there are fewer homeowners and more renters in New Jersey, according to an analysis of Census housing data.
Of the 3.1 million housing units, about 64.1 percent are owned by their occupants while 35.9 percent are rented – about 2.5 percentage points less than it was about 10 years ago.
In terms of numbers, there are now about 318,000 new residents living in rental units in New Jersey and about 156,000 fewer living in a purchased home.
The Census compares the 2012-2016 five-year American Community survey to 2007-2011 and provides a snapshot on how homeownership and rental rates have changed in the last decade.
A closer look at county data shows that all counties in New Jersey, except for Cape May, have lost homeowners. Atlantic, Passaic, Hudson and Salem counties lost more than four percent of homeowners over the last 10 years.
If you add in rising house prices and property taxes, it has pushed more and more people out of homeownership, according to Riordan.
Millenials who are just getting into the age of considering homeownership have been especially affected.
“They are saddled with [student loan] debt.” James Hughes, dean emeritus of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. “Their credit ratings are not that high so banks are reluctant to loan to them.”
Even though Hughes said these millennials might be starting to get out of it, the trend will probably continue. “They’ll probably be replaced by Generation Z,” he said.
In addition, they prefer to stay more mobile so that it’s easier to move when they find better job opportunities in a tough job market.
Perhaps due to all this, the current crop of young people has delayed settling down and starting families.
“They think, ‘If I don’t have kids, I don’t have to have a house,” Kevin Riordan of Rutgers Center for Real Estate said.
Along with this, younger people are opting to live in cities where there are more rental units, instead of moving to the suburbs.