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 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Three: What Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We dig in to that all-important, all-confusing daily stock notice: the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
1 Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment