NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The housing market is hot this summer with more buyers than available homes. A seller's market means prices are rising. With home prices near highs and interest rates rising, very few bargains are out there.
"The housing market across the country is really healthy right now, so we're seeing prices at near all-time highs, nationally the average home value is about $200,000," said Grant Long, a senior economist at StreetEasy.
In the New York City metro area, the average home costs twice that much, around $400,000, Long said. That is making it tough for millennials to jump into home ownership."
"Some of the research that we've done shows that the No. 1 thing -- 70 percent of millennials -- cite as their biggest obstacle is saving for a down payment," Long said.
In New York City, those down payments can easily push six figures.
"Overall in New York City, we generally see people put down 20 to 30 percent," Long said. "A lot of times it can go above that 20 percent threshold. It depends on your co-op board, can depend on your condo, can depend on your bank and your personal credit situation."
That is tough to come up with while you're still dealing with college bills.
"Paying down a lot of student debt is a big challenge for millennials as well," Long said.
But that doesn't mean millennials are renters who will never buy. A lot of them are just taking their time.
"Research shows us that millennials... have waited longer to buy homes, but they've also waited longer to have kids, to start families, to get married, things like that," Long said. "So what we see now is the millennial generation is starting to catch up with other generations in terms of both buying homes and in terms of getting married and settling down. So as they do that we expect their home ownership rates to catch up with the older generations'."
The best way to figure out if you should rent or buy is to consider how long you plan on staying.
"When we look at renting versus buying at StreetEasy we have something called the tipping point. We find that on average the tipping point for New York City is five to five and a half years," Long said. "So for those looking to live in a place maybe less than five years in New York City, we think it might be a better idea to rent."