Photo: Robert Clark

High housing costs and lagging wage growth have made increasing numbers of American Millennials turn to mom for all of their landlord needs.

A report released yesterday by the listing site Zillow — just in time for Mother’s Day — revealed that the share of Millennials living with their mothers (and fathers) has risen sharply over the last decade.

Nationally, the share of Millennials living with their mothers (or both parents) was 22.5 percent in 2016, up 9 percentage points from 2005. Some 28 percent of recent college graduates were reportedly still living home compared to just 19 percent in 2005.

Rapidly rising rents and slow income growth over the past half-decade drove many Millennials to either move back in with their mothers or never move out in the first place. But Zillow notes that the trend has persisted even as the national labor market improved.

“As rents outpaced incomes over the past decade, young people turned to their families in large numbers to ease the housing cost crunch,” Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas says in the digital release.

Millennials spend about 29 percent of their annual income on housing costs. The current median rent in the US is $1,447 — up 3 percent from last year and is forecasted to increase about 2 percent over the next year.

Yet despite a growing national economy and labor market, Millennials have been reluctant to leave the safety net that living with parents provides.

“Living with parents may allow young adults to pursue work or a passion that may not be especially lucrative, or save enough money for first and last month’s rent or a down payment on a home of their own,” Terrazas says.

The unemployment rate among Millennials living at home was around 12 percent.

Meantime, Millennials in pricier rental markets are even more likely to be priced out and forced to with their parents.

Over the last 11 years, the share of Millennials living at home in the New York City metro area rose from 20.4 percent in 2005 to 30.3 percent in 2016. And Millennials who have left the nest spend nearly 39 percent of their income on housing — more than ten percentage points above the national average.

In booming West Coast markets, Millennials are spending upwards of almost 40 percent on rent (San Diego, CA) — and in some areas as much as almost 50 percent (Los Angeles, CA).

And in some hot Western markets — like San Jose, CA and San Francisco, CA — comparatively fewer Millennials are living at home, not because rents are affordable but because family is living elsewhere.

Zillow also discovered another interesting trend among West Coast Millennials.

“There is also a small slice of this young adult population that has Mom living with them instead. Perhaps mom needs extra care as she ages, or has moved in with an adult child to help raise her grandchildren,” noted Terrazas.

At 14 percent, Austin, TX had the smallest share of Millennials living with mom. Austin Millennials spend about 27 percent of their annual income on rent.

Click here to read the entire release — and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, landlords and otherwise.

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