Photo: Salem Eames
They may not be buying property just yet, but an overwhelming majority of young renters in America have aspirations of home ownership, a National Association of Realtors (NAR) study suggests.
Ninety-four percent of renters aged 34 or younger polled by NAR for its quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey say they would like to buy a home sooner or later.
To Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, this flies in the face of speculation that homeownership simply doesn’t appeal to Millennials.
“Despite entering the workforce during or immediately after the worst of the financial and housing crisis, the desire to become a homeowner appears to be a personal goal for a convincing majority of young renters,” said Yun in a statement.
So why aren’t these tenants making a splash in the real estate market today? The most popular response among the entire renter pool NAR surveyed may shed some light: fifty-three percent say they can’t afford a home, and 19 percent favor the flexibility renting affords them right now.
“A combination of factors such as rising rents and home prices, limited supply, repaying student debt, and getting married and having children later in life has more to do with the currently underperforming share of first-time buyers than the idea that buying a home is not as desirable as it used to be,” Yun said in a statement.
As for what would get renters in general to switch to ownership, considerable lifestyle shifts such as getting married or retiring led the way at 33 percent. Unsurprisingly, improved personal finances was the second most popular response, with 26 percent of renters saying that was most likely to get them in the market for a home.
Respondents who already owned homes had a more positive real estate outlook as 82 percent think now is a good time to buy, compared to 68 percent of renters who share this view.
The latest Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey is based on 9,034 responses from renters and homeowners.
The answers were gleaned from a phone poll targeting cell phones and land lines that research firm TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence spearheaded from March to early December this year.