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Phoenix housing costs and stagnant income keeping millennials at home

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PHOENIX — Despite a strong economy, Valley millennials still seem reluctant to move out of their parents’ house.

In a new study by Zillow, the real estate company found that 21.4% of millennials in Phoenix are still living with their mom.

“This is up from 9.2% of young young adults between the age of 23 and 37 in 2005,” Sarah Mikhitarian with Zillow told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday. “More than double the share of young people [are] living with their moms.”

The rise of young adults reluctant to move out comes despite a drop in unemployment from 11% in 2018 to 8% in 2019 for the age group. According to Mikhitarian, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“Because incomes have not kept pace with housing costs, it has just been really difficult for them to get into a home of their own,” she said.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the unfortunate timing of millennials who graduated into a recession and may have even lost their first home due to the housing bubble bust.”

Those factors, along with studies that show millennials are getting married later in life and starting to embrace the sharing economy are other reasons why she suspects that millennials are staying at home longer.

Nationally, averages from most categories in the study compare quite similarly to Phoenix.

Mikhitarian said that a typical renter pays close to 30% of their monthly income on rent. In Phoenix, the average millennial spends close to 26.2%.

The national average for rent is $1,474, while in Phoenix the average is $1,446. The national rate of young adults living with mom is 21.9%, just a half percentage point higher than Phoenix.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report. 

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