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Economics

The Rental Generation Sees No Point in Buying

Buffeted by recession, young adults sense danger in ownership
Jared Fruchtman rents his apartment and only uses Zipcar
Jared Fruchtman rents his apartment and only uses ZipcarPhotograph by McNair Evans for Bloomberg Businessweek

The day Michael Anselmo signed a lease on his first apartment in New York City, he lost his job at Buck Consultants. He spent about 10 months struggling to pay rent with unemployment benefits. Two years later he’s hesitant to buy a bike, let alone try home ownership.

“Every decision that I have made since I lost my job has been colored by that insecurity I feel about the future,” says Anselmo, 28, who rents an apartment in Austin, Texas, and works as a consultant for UnitedHealth Group. “Buying a house is just further out on the timeline for me than it used to be.”