Another ridiculous fabricated reason millennials can’t afford to buy a house

Posted On August 10, 2018

In the digital age of social media white noise, media outlets make their money by attracting eyeballs. Two of the ways they try to do this are by jumping on popular topics and inventing new angles until they run them into the ground, and by using what we now commonly refer to as “clickbait” – misleading or sensationalized headlines that draw readers to click on a story that ultimately doesn’t deliver the shock that was promised.

Today.com, the website of NBC’s Today Show, recently checked both these boxes with one post that took the stereotyping of millennials to a new level of ridiculousness.

“How bachelor, bachelorette parties could be standing in the way of homeownership,” the headline reads. The subhed then piles on: “Are bachelorette parties the new avocado toast?”

Bachelor and bachelorette parties held in popular cities or exotic locations – so-called “destination parties” – are expensive, the article informs us, as though we couldn’t have figured out ourselves that a weekend in Vegas costs more than a night at Dave & Buster’s.

It cites a study by the real estate website Zillow showing that traveling to and attending nine such parties could cost you about $14,000 – money that would go a long way toward a down payment on a home in most places.

Perhaps millennials live more exciting lives and have more adventurous friends than the rest of us, but how many actually know nine people who’d fly across the country to have their bachelorette party? And nine that they like well enough to pay for a flight to Aruba to hold their hair out of the toilet after a night of Fireball body shots?

Even for those who do, the likelihood that all nine would be getting married in the three- to five-year window where a millennial might be looking for his or her first home is minimal.

What the Today article doesn’t do is offer any statistics about how many millennials are choosing such pricey destination bachelorette parties these days, instead of just hiring a local Magic Mike like their mothers did. It instead props the premise upon the popularity of movies like “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids.”

The second half of the article, however, brings the reader back to the realities that really are standing in the way of a higher rate of millennial homeownership: student debt, slower income growth, rising real estate prices.

But you probably wouldn’t have clicked on that headline.

As it is, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that subhed. Are they trying to tell us that before destination bachelorette parties became a big thing, the reason millennials couldn’t afford to buy a house was avocado toast?

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Generation Y / Millennials, Home Ownership