Housing costs have gotten so far out of hand that young people have had to resort to making extreme sacrifices just to save up to eventually buy a home.
The New York Post reported this week on a rising trend that’s emerged on TikTok, where young people highlight the “drastic sacrifices” they’re making to save enough money to buy a home. For many, this has involved buying a van and revamping it to be their living quarters.
One person who did so was Michael Alberse, who has 57,000 followers on TikTok. The Post highlighted his story, which included him living in a van after he graduated from college — a move that he said “forever” changed his financial future.
He lived in the van for about a year before moving back in with his parents, all while working for Google in California.
Many other young people have chosen the “van life” because they simply can’t afford the outrageous cost of purchasing a home today.
A new Intuit Credit Karma report revealed just how dire the issue is. It said that 31% of adults in Generation Z live with their parents because they can’t afford to either rent or buy a place of their own.
What’s more, 2023 was considered the “least affordable homebuying year” in more than 10 years.
When young people say they can’t afford a home, others step in and say, “buy a cheap duplex and rent it!”
Or, “Move to rural Arkansas and price out the locals!”
“Just get in the property game!”
No. The game is stupid and we don’t want to play
We want to end the game https://t.co/elHDK95H4T
— Amy Nixon (@texasrunnerDFW) July 10, 2023
“The current housing market has many Americans making adjustments to their living situations, including relocating to less-expensive cities and even moving back in with their families,” Courtney Alev, a consumer financial advocate for Intuit Credit Karma, said.
A study from the Pew Research Center also revealed that one-quarter of all young adults live in a household that includes multiple generations. That’s a massive increase from the 9% rate from 50 years ago.
While mortgage interest rates are starting to go down, they’re still astronomically higher than they were even a few years ago. That, coupled with the fact that the average price of houses has soared since the COVID-19 pandemic, has made homeownership a pipedream rather than an achievable “American Dream” for many young people.