“Will I Ever Own?” Renters Express Fear About Never Being Able to Buy

By Kelly Leighton | Sept. 22, 2021 | 2 min. read

Nearly 90% of Americans said they would rather own a home than rent, but 48% of renters said they are afraid they will never be able to take that step and buy.

More than three quarters of renters would rather own than rent, according to a recent Lending Tree survey. However, concerns about finances top the list of reasons why they fear they will never own, especially in today’s market, where homes are moving quickly off of the market and prices are rising. More than half of renters said they cannot afford a down payment, while 36% said home prices are just too expensive in their community. Thirty-two percent said their credit score would prevent them from obtaining a mortgage and 25% do not have a stable job currently. Generation X is the generation most likely to think they will never own, followed by millennials.

Many consider the American Dream to include homeownership. That’s not the only reason people aspire to own a property. The flexibility to do whatever with the space is the top reason people would rather own than rent, according to 63%, while 55% crave stability and not worrying about leases. Still, 50% said they want the pride of owning a home. Nearly half said that homes help build wealth, especially compared to renting, primarily those who make more than $100,000, while lower-income respondents were less convinced, at 54% compared to 30%.

Yet, 12% of Americans would prefer to rent, including just 2% of owners, due to lack of responsibility for maintenance or repairs, the ease of moving elsewhere and the affordability.

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