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Affordable Housing , Community Development , Housing Policy Briefs , Reports and Publications

Real and Imagined Hurdles to Homeownership

22 February 2017
National Association of Realtors' (NAR)

According to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) “Aspiring Home Buyer Profile” the vast majority (87%) of all non-homeowners want to own a home, however there are several barriers standing in their way. Over half of those who were surveyed with student loans stated they did not feel comfortable paying a mortgage while they continue to pay off their student debt. Almost half of these respondents said this would delay their homeownership by five or more years.

High rent and home prices also play a role in delaying homeownership. According to NAR, these prices increased over 40% in the past 5 years. Increased rent reduces opportunities to save, while increased home prices limit reasonably priced points of entry into homeownership.

Another factor preventing many people from becoming homeowners is a misconception about the total down payment required to become a homeowner. Almost 9 out of 10 respondents believed that a down payment of 10% or more was required to purchase a home. However, the median down payment for first-time buyers has been slightly over 5% for the past 3 years.

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