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Soaring student loan debt to delay homeownership, boost rentals

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Editor's note: Rick Palacios is senior research analyst at John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC). By RICK PALACIOSStudent loan debt now totals $865 billion, which is greater than all credit card debt outstanding, as well as all other types of household debt except for mortgages.College graduates have debt averaging $25,000. Even more troubling is the rise in debts associated with for-profit college and trade schools, whose revenues come primarily from debt available through federal government programs.The debt load is so high, and the job outlook so bleak, that student loan default rates have almost doubled. With the economy little improved since 2009 (two-year lag on data), default rates are bound to rise further. Student loans are going to be yet another hurdle for the housing market to overcome. Faced with mounting student loan debt, poor job prospects and stagnant wages, an increasing amount of 25- to 34-year-olds (a prized demographic for the housing sector) have moved back ...