Nearly Half of Renters Worry That They Will Never Be Homeowners

September 10, 2021

Homeownership has always been an important part of the American dream, but for many, it is feeling increasingly unobtainable, according to a recent survey from Lending Tree.

The survey found that Americans still overwhelmingly want to own a home, with 88% saying they would rather own than rent. However, among current renters, almost half (48%) worry that they will never be able to purchase a home.

The fear is most pronounced among Generation X and millennials, with 55% of Gen X renters and 52% of millennial renters are worried that homeownership will elude them. An economist with Lending Tree noted that these cohorts are in their prime earning years, so it is natural for them to worry that if they have not already been able to purchase a home, it will not happen.

The biggest barrier for aspiring buyers is the inability to afford a down payment, with 54% of respondents saying this is the reason they have not bought a home. Other common reasons were home prices too high in their area (36%) and difficulty qualifying for a mortgage due to a low credit score (32%).

Homeownership is an important source of wealth accumulation, particularly for the middle class. According to Federal Reserve data, Americans held roughly $34 trillion in real estate assets in the first quarter of 2021. This amounts to 23% of total U.S. household assets.

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