Sizzle/Fizzle

Might Millennials’ Dissatisfaction Hint At Housing Downturn To Come?

You know the drill: Buyer’s remorse. Getting what you wanted and then wondering if the thrill of the chase and the capture will give way to unexpected regret.

Buying a house is no small undertaking. The scrimping, saving, and in some cases, going to the Bank of Mom and Dad.

News came this week, as noted across sites such as CNBC, that millennial homeownership has been creeping along. Consider the fact that only one in three people under the age of 35 own a home, and data from the Census Bureau show that pace is 8 percentage points below the homeownership rate that has been seen in previous generations.

The pace might hint at a long-term trend that would see, we would wager, a glut if it doesn’t pick up. Remember that a big chunk of buying power is concentrated in this generation’s collective wallet, and that if older generations start to unload housing, those homes would presumably stay on the market unless younger buyers — you know, the ones with new jobs and new families — come in to snap them up.

There is a more troubling stat to note, as well. Bankrate polled 1,500 homeowners, and found that 63 percent of millennials say they have regrets about having bought the home they are in. That compares markedly unfavorably with the only 35 percent of baby boomers who state they have regrets. By way of contrast, too, roughly 50 percent of Generation X homeowners say they have regrets about their home-buying choices.

Key to that regret were the financial costs of owning and maintaining the house after the sale. Plus they bought into a market where housing prices were heady, and 18 of millennial buyers said they bought homes that were too small.

Millennials surpassed Generation X in terms of home-buying via dollars spent at the end of last year. As reported, they had a 42 percent share of loan volume by December of last year, where that share was 40 percent for Generation X and 17 percent for boomers. But the down payments taken on were roughly 8.8 percent, compared to 11.9 percent for Generation X and 17.7 percent for boomers. The implication is millennials have taken on more debt — right into a period when debt is becoming increasingly tougher to shoulder especially with, say, credit cards, where debt can have variable interest rates.

Hmm. Housing too small, too expensive to buy in the first place, and tough to maintain. Not great ingredients for a stew of contentment, which makes millennial housing satisfaction our fizzle of the week.

Sizzle

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Flywire flies high: Global payments firm Flywire logs $10 billion in total payments volume, and said last year payment volumes grew by 130 percent in the Asia Pacific region and 65 percent in EMEA. OnPlan, focused on healthcare, has seen 100 percent growth.

Tech South of the Border: Gets a boost as Softbank makes a big bet on Latin America, with an eye on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, targeting initiatives in eCommerce and digital financial services.

Fizzle

Big Tech Taxes: It’s getting more expensive to be a tech juggernaut, at least in France, where a 3 percent digital tax has been levied. The tax applies to roughly 30 companies operating in the country, and opens the door for other taxes mandated in other countries.

EU Economic Growth: The European Central Bank signals fresh worry over global growth, pulling back on rate hikes and re-instituting a program that seeks to induce banks to lend. Senior bank executives state that growth targets for the EU have been lowered to an anemic 1.1 percent.

MoviePass: We’ve seen this film before. Maybe it’s Groundhog Day? The firm said this past week that it is implementing (yet another) new business model, with a focus in part on producing content in a bid to boost subscription revenues, while the subscription revenues are meant to bolster content.  Meanwhile the firm continues to burn through cash.

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