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A generation of renters?
Grant funds study of young homebuyers in wake of collapse
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011
By Emily Smudde, WSU News intern
PULLMAN, Wash. – After seeing their parents and older friends struggle to maintain their homes during the housing collapse, will the next generation of homeowners become a "generation of renters?” This is the question Glenn Crellin hopes to answer in a study of the attitudes of potential homeowners.
Director of the Washington Center of Real Estate Research at Washington State University, Crellin said he began his research in response to concerns from the National Association of Realtors.
"The association is concerned about where the next generation of homeowners will come from,” he said. "There are stories in the media about how the next generation will be a generation of renters, and this is a major concern.”
A healthy housing market requires a constant flow of entry-level homeowners, Crellin said. His research will focus on whether or not this flow can be restored and maintained after the collapse.
Through census data analyses and focus groups of WSU students, Crellin hopes to understand the attitudes of potential first-time homeowners. He has received a $14,000 grant from Realtor University to assist in the research, which he predicts will be finished within the year.
Crellin has not begun his study but an unofficial survey of the students in his class looks promising:
"I asked how many students felt they were going to own a home in the next 10 years,” he said. "Almost everyone raised their hands. This is a very different attitude than the one the media constantly portrays.”