First of all, young people have less money and less stable employment. In 2011, the average unemployment rate for those between 20 and 24 was 14.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as compared to just 7.3 percent for those between 35 and 44. The national average for the year was 8.9 percent.
"The economic situation has been very difficult on new entrants to the workforce," said Michael Goodman, chairman of the Department of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
This situation means that, despite record-low interest rates and falling home prices, "there aren’t a whole lot of young people who are in a financial position to take advantage," Goodman said.