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Good Question: Why Are We Waiting Longer To Buy Homes?

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Studies show that more Americans are waiting longer to get married, have kids and buy homes.

The highest numbers of those putting off the big commitments are millennials — those in the 20- to 35-year-old range.

Research from the University of St. Thomas shows that more and more millennials are waiting to pay off student loans before they become home owners.

In fact, student loans and career establishment are big reasons why weddings and babies get put on hold, according to University of Minnesota sociology professor Doug Hartmann.

“A lot more women are working now and that has implications for marriage and kids and family,” Hartmann said.

He says many women are concentrating on their careers first. In 1970, the majority of women were married by the time they were 24, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Today, over half of women in their early 20s have never been to the altar.

“Priorities have changed a ton during that time,” Hartmann said.

The Census Bureau said millennials lived through the Great Recession and during the housing market fallout, causing them to take fewer risks.

Many are also children of divorced parents, making them more cautious about marriage. But Hartmann says divorce has been up since the 70s, and researchers say 90 percent of people will still eventually marry.

“When you ask people about their attitudes towards marriage, their desires to get married, that doesn’t seem to be in decline,” he said. “It’s just the timing of it and when it’s happening that’s getting put off.”

A lot of men are also focusing on their careers first before getting married and buying a home. Research shows that men are likely to live with their parents much longer than women.

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