TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Real estate company Redfin reports that almost one third of all American renters cannot afford to buy a house where they’d like to live. The study said 30% also can’t save enough money for a down payment, keeping homeownership out of reach on grounds of affordability.
The Redfin study said one of every three renters can’t afford to buy a house where they want to go, and one in 10 are moving because their current accommodations don’t have “adequate heat, hot water, or electricity.”
A fifth of renters are moving to areas that have “more affordable rents,” according to Redfin.
“A lot of American renters want to buy a home, but they’re stuck renting because it’s simply too expensive to break into the housing market,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “That’s especially true since they’re often competing against investors or other deep-pocketed individual buyers.”
Fairweather said the housing market is starting to show signs of a cooldown, but with mortgage rates on the rise, monthly payments will go up as well.
The Redfin study said “the housing market is unaffordable for many prospective first-time buyers largely because home prices have shot up since the start of the pandemic, with remote work and last year’s record-low mortgage rates leading to a boom in demand.” Homes have gotten 34% more expensive since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rental costs are also on the rise, and have been for months, but they’re not the only monthly costs preventing potential buyers from pulling the trigger.
Costs like “debt from credit cards, student loans, medical bills, car loans” have become hurdles to purchasing homes, even with repayment on federal student loans paused, now through August. The average American college graduate owes about $37,000 in student debt, according to the Education Data Initiative. That comes out to about $1.6 trillion across the U.S.
“Paying down debt can make it difficult to come up with a down payment and/or monthly mortgage payments, especially now that home prices have shot up,” Redfin reported. Continually shrinking home inventory has pushed prices up even further, leading to bidding wars between potential buyers, but first-time homeowners are also having to compete with companies instead of families to break out of the rental market.
Part of the inventory is what’s available for sale, rather than what’s around. In Florida alone, 1.7 million homes sit empty, but just thousands are available for sale.