Biggest Obstacles Buyers Are Facing

A graphic of a house surrounded by a 3D maze.

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The lack of affordable homes for sale is the top challenge home buyers face in the current market, but it’s not the only one, according to the 2022 Obstacles to Home Buying, a new study released by the National Association of REALTORS® and Morning Consult.

Finding homes that fit buyers’ criteria, competing with multiple offers, and saving for a down payment also were commonly cited challenges. Homebuying obstacles, however, can vary by race and ethnicity, the study finds.

For example, Hispanic buyers also cited difficulty saving for a down payment as a pressing challenge that has delayed homeownership for some buyers.

Black buyers cited lack of credit or credit issues as the main obstacles, as well as finding neighborhoods to which they were comfortable moving.

White and Asian potential buyers said a lack of homes that fit their criteria and competing with multiple offers were their top current obstacles in purchasing a home.

A series of four bar charts showing the most common homebuying obstacles by race that people experience.

“Record-high home prices and record-low inventory have made the homebuying process exceedingly difficult,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “Our new study shows that while the inventory crisis is affecting potential buyers of every race, nearly all home buyers agree that homeownership is still an important part of the American dream.”

Indeed, among all races and ethnicities surveyed, a clear majority agreed that homeownership remains a part of the American dream.

But buying isn’t easy nowadays. About three-quarters of aspiring buyers surveyed say it will take them between six months and three years to save for a down payment.

While homeowners have enjoyed growing equity from rising home prices, buyers have faced plenty of hurdles. “The market becomes increasingly unaffordable, and the obstacles greater, for those trying to enter the market,” says Bryan Greene, NAR’s vice president of policy advocacy. “NAR advocates not only for existing homeowners but also for those aspiring homeowners whose entrance into the market is necessary for the economy to thrive.”