Which Generation Is Struggling the Most to Buy a Home? (It's Not Millennials)
Clare Trapasso, Realtor.com
The National Association of Realtors® report is based on about 4,000 responses received from non-homeowners in surveys performed each month in 2017.
Gen Xers “are at an age where they may have children, car loans, credit card debt," says Jessica Lautz, NAR's managing director of survey research. "They're also less likely to be able to move back home [with their parents] to pay down debt."
About 47% of Generation X respondents said they were having difficulty saving up for a down payment. That's compared with 23% of millennials.
Although the lingering pain of the financial crisis cut across age groups, it hit Generation Xers particularly hard.
"They were very likely to have purchased a home in the housing boom and then be hit by the housing bust," says Lautz. “Generation Xers were most likely to have a home that was underwater."
Not having sufficient home equity makes it harder to trade up to larger abodes to accommodate growing families.
But it isn't just members of Generation X struggling to become homeowners. Millennials, many of whom are just beginning their careers and starting their families, make up the largest overall share of non-owners. Those making $50,000 or less were also more likely not to own their own abodes.
And despite 82% of non-owners aspiring to own a home in the future, the main reason that many are unable to do so is because they can't afford it. Nationally, annual home list prices were up a median 7.8% as of Jan. 1, according to realtor.com® data.
"They believe that homeownership is part of their American dream," says Lautz. But "[they're] feeling priced out of the home-buying market."