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NAR: American dream of homeownership is still alive

But affordability remains a major deterrence

Although tightening affordability continues to be a deterrence to homeownership, data suggests Americans still strongly consider it to be a part of the American dream, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In fact, according to NAR’s Aspiring Home Buyers Profile, approximately 75% of non-homeowners and 90% of current homeowners said homeownership was essential to the American Dream.

NAR calculated the housing expectations and sentiments of non-homeowners by utilizing 2018 quarterly consumer insights from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey.

Notably, NAR included both renters and those living with a family member in its results.

According to NAR, when non-homeowners were asked for the main reason why they currently did not own a home, most respondents cited mortgage affordability.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said unaffordable housing has caused a number of potential buyers to hold off on purchasing a new home.

NAR’s data indicates that in Q4 of 2018, 43% of non-owners said they did not own a home because they were not in a position to purchase. This is a 6% drop from Q3, when 49% of non-homeowners answered the same.

The organization also notes that in Q4, 33% of non-homeowners said they do not own because current life circumstances were not suitable for homeownership, while 16% said they required the flexibility of renting.

“The lack of affordable and moderately priced homes has forced non-homeowners to delay achieving that part of the American Dream,” Yun continued. “However, as the survey confirms, significant lifestyle changes like marriage or starting a family often spur non-owners to pursue homeownership.”

NAR discovered that in each quarter of 2018, 28% to 31% of non-owners said improvement to their financial situation would be the main motivator for future homeownership.

Additionally, 26-30% of non-owners said a change in lifestyle, like getting married, starting a family or retiring, would be the primary reason they would make a future home purchase.

You can read the full results of NAR’s data here.

NOTE: This data was calculated on the behalf of NAR by research firm TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. The survey represents a total of 8,140 household responses.

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