It’s no secret that inflation and interest rates put a pin in many Americans’ dreams of homeownership – but how bad is the situation for first-time buyers and millennials, really?
According to a new survey from Real Estate Witch, 92 percent of millennials looking to buy a home in the next year say inflation has impacted their home-buying plans, and twenty-eight percent said their plans to buy a home have been delayed because of finances.
The largest self-reported barriers facing millennial buyers today are interest rates, home prices and saving for a down payment – marking a significant shift in the market since last year, when the top concern for young buyers was competition in the market.
It’s not surprising that finance-related concerns are among the largest barriers to homeownership. As inflation spiked over the last year, many found themselves dipping into their savings to survive, or not being able to save at all.
Today, more than 1 in 3 millennials work second jobs to save for a down payment, but most of them still don’t believe they have enough money for a home.
In 2022, only 18 percent of millennials reported having less than $10,000 in savings. This year, over half report having that little in their savings account, and 20 percent report having no savings at all – making the idea of a down payment seem impossible.
More than half of millennials say they can’t afford a home, with 41 percent reporting not having money for a down payment as the primary reason. One in three worry they might not even qualify for a mortgage.
Down payments seem to be a problem for even the most determined millennial buyers, as over 60 percent of respondents say they plan to put down less than 20 percent on a home. That’s a huge spike compared to last year, when only 34 percent of millennials planned to put down a smaller deposit.
Overall, the picture doesn’t look pretty for young prospective buyers, even from an emotional standpoint.
Seventy-one percent reported that home buying has caused them stress, with over half (51 percent) being reduced to tears during the home-search process. Even those who make it past the finish line don’t get to live happily ever after, as 82 percent of millennials who bought a home say they regret their purchase.
Morale seems to be at an all-time low with millennials. Despite 77 percent of them believing that homeownership is part of the American Dream, 1 in 3 don’t believe it’s attainable for the average American. The vast majority (76 percent) predict that market conditions will get worse before they buy a home.