(May 24, 2019) The National Association of Realtors Aspiring Home Buyer Profile is an in-depth examination of the consumer preferences of non-homeowners, defined as those that rent and those that live with someone else, such as family or friends, without paying rent.
The report released at the beginning of 2019 compares and contrasts the perceptions of homeownership, the American Dream, and housing affordability from the perspective of non-homeowners.
When non-homeowners were asked for the chief reason why they currently do not own a home, most respondents said it was because they were currently unable to afford a mortgage.
Over the last quarter of 2018, 43 percent of non-owners said they did not own a home because they were not in a position to purchase, which was down from the third quarter of 2018, when 49 percent of non-homeowners answered the same.
Also in the fourth quarter, 33 percent of non-homeowners said they do not own because current life circumstances are not suitable for ownership, while 16 percent said they need the flexibility of renting.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says unaffordable housing has caused a number of potential buyers to hold off on purchasing a new home.
“The lack of affordable and moderately-priced homes has forced non-homeowners to delay achieving that part of the American Dream,” he said. “However, as the survey confirms, significant lifestyle changes like marriage or starting a family often spur non-owners to pursue home-ownership.”
Some of the other report highlights include:
• For both homeowners and non-homeowners alike, homeownership is strongly considered a part of the American Dream. For non-owners, roughly 75 percent reported that homeownership is part of their American Dream.
• Of the non-owners, 45 percent were 34 years or under, 59 percent make an income of under $50,000, and 43 percent live in suburban areas.
Lauren Bunting is an Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.