90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Young Homeowners

Home prices are down. Mortgage rates, rock bottom. If you’re young in America, does it, will it, make sense to buy a home?

In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo, a house with a "for sale" sign in front is seen in Newton, Mass. Home ownership over the past decade posted the biggest drop since the Great Depression as layoffs, foreclosures and the mortgage mess made it harder for people to buy or hold onto their homes. (AP)

In this Sept. 19, 2011 file photo, a house with a "for sale" sign in front is seen in Newton, Mass. Home ownership over the past decade posted the biggest drop since the Great Depression as layoffs, foreclosures and the mortgage mess made it harder for people to buy or hold onto their homes. (AP)

It’s 2012, you’re a young American, and the U.S. housing market and mortgage rates are beaten down as low as we’ve ever seen.  Is it time to buy a house?  For twenty-somethings or young thirties with college debt and no job and living in mom’s basement, that may be the cue to start laughing.

But hard times don’t last forever, do they?  Mortgage rates in the three percents.  Rock bottom.  Foreclosed houses going for a song.  Rents, as the man says, “too damn high.”  Is it time to do it?  Somehow?  Somewhere?

This hour, On Point:  If you’re young in America, is it time to buy a home?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Karl Case, professor of Economics Emeritus at Wellesley College and Senior Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. He is co-creator of the Case-Schiller index, which tracks housing prices.

Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic; oversees business coverage for their website.

Matt Yglesias, Slate’s business and economics correspondent. He’s also the author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Atlantic “Richer couples! Cheaper mortgages! Millions of unwanted houses! Despite all this, young home owners declined for 30 years, even before the Great Recession. Here’s how the American Dream shrank.”

The New York Times “Like many young married people, Steve and Logan Kinney dream of owning a home. So after several years of diligent saving, the couple, both teachers, scoured the listings in Boerum Hill, the leafy Brooklyn neighborhood where they rented.”

U.S. News & World Report “Young Americans, take heart; there is empirical evidence that your parents’ “When I was your age…” diatribes are currently meaningless.”

Playlist

Low on Cash by Eric Lindell

The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert

Young Americans by David Bowie

 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment