Do You Care How Many Homes Your Presidential Candidate Owns?

Especially when fewer young people can realistically afford to buy homes of their own

How many houses do the 2020 Presidential candidates own? Follow-up: Is this going to sway your vote?

The topic came up during the ninth Democratic presidential primary debate, when former Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to swipe at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for owning three homes. It was a fact that Sanders conceded as a matter of practicality: He has one in Washington, D.C., when he's on the Hill, one in Burlington, VT, and a summer home. Hey, Bernie needs a vacation, too!

Bloomberg, for his part, said he has one home in New York City. He owns a townhouse on the Upper East Side, and in 2016, Curbed reported that the former mayor has been steadily buying units in the townhouse next door. According to the New York Times, his one (1!) house spans at least an estimated 12,500 square feet; by contrast, the average New York City apartment is 700 square feet or less.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg also touted his status as a homeowner, by highlighting his single house in South Bend, Indiana. (His monthly mortgage payment? A chill $450, which is half the cost of the average monthly mortgage payment in America.) But the only millennial candidate is also an outlier among his generation: Young people are owning homes at far lower rates than the generations before them, for pretty predictable reasons. Despite rising student debt, wages have stayed relatively stagnant for decades. And while plenty of young people are being priced out of too-expensive cities, so are longtime residents affected by gentrification.

So what is a young person with HGTV dreams to do? For starters, don't be afraid to order the avocado toast: In the long run, that delicious moment of joy isn't going to ding your net worth all that much. Plenty of candidates have plans to erase or ease student loan debt, help small business owners, and level the economic playing field for the rest of us.

As for President Donald Trump? Well, there's the New York penthouse, the estate in New Jersey, the three houses in Palm Beach, Florida, and — oh, yeah, the White House, just to name a few. But if there was a key takeaway from debate night, it's this: Each Democratic candidate is extremely ready to take that home off his hands in November.