The American Dream of owning your own home has increasingly slipped away, particularly for younger generations. Last year, U.S. house prices grew by 4.8%; this year, salaries are only projected to grow by 1.9%.
Those numbers are from a study done by financial services organization HSBC, which looked at home ownership among 9,000 people in nine different countries. The study showed that 40% of all Millennials in the study are homeowners. In the U.S., just 35% of them do. And shockingly, in China some 70% of Millennials own their own homes.
Why is it that the percentage of Millennial homeowners in China is double that of the U.S.? Their still-growing economy tells part of the tale: 2016 house prices in China grew by 3.6%, and this year salaries are projected to grow by 4%.
The BBC, however, points to a cultural difference to explain the disparity:
Dr Jieyu Liu, deputy director of the SOAS China Institute, told the BBC: “It is the custom that husbands will provide a home. As young people’s wages are too low, the husband’s family is expected to take on the responsibility to purchase the property in their son’s name, or pay the deposit.
…And then there’s the fact that elderly Chinese often move in with their children in their twilight years. As a result, many see buying a property in their son or daughter’s name as an investment in the family’s future.
American Millennials are still apparently optimistic, however. While just 35% of them are homeowners, 80% of ones who are not say they intend to buy a home in the next five years. We’ll see how that pans out.
Here are the charts from the study, for your perusal.