An absolutely shocking, new report via Zillow this month estimates 2.7 million adults moved in with a parent or grandparent in March and April as virus pandemic lockdowns crushed the economy.
The Zillow analysis shows 32 million adults lived with a parent or grandparent as of April, or about 10% of the entire population lives in their parent’s basement, the highest on record.
Many of those who moved back home in March and April, 2.2 million, were jobless millennials:
Employment and living situations among this young age group are generally the most in flux even in normal times, and the added uncertainty of the pandemic and future employment prospects makes this group even vulnerable to volatile swings in job and housing markets. Normally, the living arrangements of the 18-25 age group is quite seasonal (because of college terms and/or seasonal work), with a smaller share living at home in the spring months than in the summer months: Typically, 53%-to-55% of these adults live at home in April, compared to 55%-to-57% in July. But this April, that share surged as high as 61%, an unprecedented level.
But while students returning home after the nationwide closure of college campuses this spring is undoubtedly driving some of this surge, young adults were overwhelmingly driven back home by the major labor market swing in the wake of COVID-19. The number of employed young adults (aged 18-25) fell by more than 25%, or 5.9 million, in March and April. Roughly 60% of these workers that became unemployed in these months continued to look for employment, but more than 2 million were officially counted as no longer in the labor force. And while recently unemployed young people moved back home at roughly the same rate as usual (about 60% of them typically live with parents) the total number of them is bigger than ever.
Its not just newly jobless young Americans that are moving back home. Before the pandemic, almost half (46.5%) of employed young adults already lived in a parent’s home; by this April, the share had risen to 49%. Those who ceased looking for work altogether or were not in the labor force already, including a large number of students, were even more likely to move back home, adding another million-plus young adults to the ranks of homeward-bound movers. – Zillow
The great migration home, more precisely, to their parent’s basement, has been a major headache for landlords who now face lost rent. Zillow said Gen Zers who returned home in March and April represent lost rental income of $726 million a month.
The New York Times used Zillow data to show rental market losses by geographic area due to folks moving back home during the pandemic.
The trend of broke millennials moving home began well before the pandemic but has since been supercharged by the economic crash.
Over the years – we’ve noted the growing population of basement-dwelling millennials:
With no economic recovery in sight, maybe not until 2023 – expect more adults to move back home. This will have severe impacts on the economy – as consumption will slow – and the rental industry will flounder. The socio-economic collapse of this country will lead to years of slow growth and high unemployment.