Zillow has published its first Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR). This report is the result of a semi-annual survey of 10,000 Americans that delves into their perspectives on homeownership and their home buying plans. One of the most significant findings of the report is that more than two-thirds of renters across the nation (67.9 percent) believe that saving for a down payment is the greatest barrier to home ownership.
Universality of the Struggle to Save
The ZHAR also revealed that the struggle to save for a down payment is universally the most significant obstacle for renters across gender, age, income, and all 20 major metro regions surveyed. With regard to gender, more women than men stated that down payments pose the biggest challenge to home ownership, 72.2 percent versus 62.2 percent respectively.
With regard to age, Millennials (ages 18-34) were more likely than Gen X (ages 35-54) and Baby Boomer (55 and older) renters to cite down payment issues as the most significant barrier to purchasing a home – 69.2 percent, 68.5 percent and 64.3 percent, respectively.
With regard to income, saving for a down payment was cited as a major concern more prevalently among respondents in the highest income bracket than in the lowest, 67.3 percent versus 65.9 percent respectively. However, the largest percent overall was of those in the middle-income bucket, at 70.4 percent.
Rising Home Values: A Moving Target
Home prices across the nation have been rapidly increasing and show no signs of letting up. February was the 55th consecutive month of annual home value growth in the U.S., and the 18th consecutive month of annual appreciation exceeding 5 percent. Because of this rapid growth, renters continually have to update their saving goals for down payments as the prices of homes continue to skyrocket. Unfortunately for renters, more than 100 experts surveyed by Zillow believe that home values will rise even more; on average, approximately 17.3 percent between now through 2021.
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