Nearly three-quarters or Americans said owning a home is the hallmark of economic prosperity.
According to Bankrate, 74% of Americans place homeownership at the top of the list, ahead of bring able to retire (66%) and having a successful career (60%). Homeownership also topped owning a car (50%), having children (40%) and obtaining a college degree (35%). Generation Z was the only the generation who didn’t place homeownership in the top spot; instead having a successful career edged out owning a home by 1%.
Despite longing to do so, affordability is the biggest challenge for those looking to become homeowners. Forty-three percent of non-homeowners in the survey reported they don’t make enough to buy a home, 39% cited high home prices as a barrier, 36% said they cannot afford a down payment and 22% said their credit isn’t good enough. Millennials were more likely to say high home prices were holding them back, while Generation Z was more likely to say they aren’t quite ready to become a homeowner.
With higher home prices and rising mortgage rates, some homebuyers are playing the waiting game, 42% said they are not willing to do anything different to find a home they can afford, but 27% said they would consider moving out of state to find something affordable and 21% would buy a fixer-upper. Twenty percent said they would relocate away from family and friends and 13% would endure a longer work commute to be a homeowner.
For those who did take the plunge into homeownership, 72% said they would do it the same way again, even with hindsight.