Vice President Kamala Harris recently provoked controversy by implying that “climate anxiety” is the reason why young people are reluctant to invest in homeownership. Experts and detractors, however, argue that this tendency is mostly driven by economic motives rather than concerns about climate change.
In a recent interview, Harris blamed young people’s fears about climate change for their hesitation to purchase homes, according to a Pennsylvania TV station. She contended that these “young leaders” worry about getting married and starting a family because they think bad weather will ruin their financial plans.
Although many young people undoubtedly have serious concerns about climate change, some contend that Harris’s theory oversimplifies the complex factors underlying the fall in property purchases among this group. In contrast to the Vice President’s assertion, a number of reports suggest that many young individuals want to own a property.
Rather, the obvious problem of sharply rising inflation rates during the Biden administration is cited by experts as a stronger argument against young people purchasing homes. With interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate house loans rising to a startling 7.09 percent, mortgage rates have hit all-time highs. For many Americans, becoming a homeowner is now less possible due to the abrupt increase in mortgage rates.
The National Association of property Builders’ Chief Economist, Robert Dietz, highlights that a number of potential purchasers have been effectively priced out of the housing market due to the combination of rising property prices and increased mortgage rates. It is extremely difficult for young people, especially those who do not have access to significant family financial support, to save up down payments on homes.
In addition, the cost of housing has increased to almost all-time highs; this, together with mortgage rates that are surging, has resulted in the lowest number of mortgage applications in 27 years.
The “climate anxiety” argument’s detractors argue that economic factors—like inflation and skyrocketing property prices—have a much greater impact on discouraging young people from pursuing homeownership. They emphasize that the state of the economy, especially the effects of stimulus plans, is a major factor in the way that housing is currently structured.
Although experts acknowledge that young people have legitimate concerns about climate change, they also emphasize that when examining patterns in homeownership, it is important to take both climate anxiety and economic issues into account. They contend that in addition to tackling climate-related issues, governments should concentrate on reducing obstacles to homeownership and relieving economic difficulties.