Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Potential Buyers Want to Own, but Many Can’t Afford to

Positivity about owning a home is still high. In the latest HOME Survey, released earlier this month, 87 percent of people surveyed want to own a home in the future and 88 percent believe homeownership is a good financial decision. However, becoming a homeowner is still presently out of reach for some. Affordability continues to be a speed bump on the road to homeownership, and this is particularly acute in certain areas of the country.

Forty-eight percent of non-homeowner respondents reported that the main reason they currently don’t own a home is because they can’t afford to buy one. This is close to respondents in the Northeast, where 47 percent feel they can’t afford to buy a home. It is slightly less in the Midwest at 44 percent and in the South at 45 percent, but the number jumps to 59 percent in the West.

Don't Own

What might change these potential home buyers’ minds about owning in the future? Interestingly, while an improvement in their financial situation is one of the top answers both nationally and regionally, it is lifestyle considerations such as getting married, finding a new job or retiring that would entice most into becoming a homeowner (38 percent). This holds true across the regions: forty percent in the Midwest and South report that this is the case, while slightly lower numbers were reported in the Northeast at 36 percent and in the West at 34 percent.

Main Reason

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