A Snapshot of Would-Be Home Buyers - 2019
Homeowners and non-homeowners both strongly consider homeownership part of the American Dream. This is according to new consumer survey data from the National Association of Realtors®, which revealed that among those polled, approximately 75 percent of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while nine in 10 current homeowners said the same.
NAR’s Aspiring Home Buyers Profile analyzed 2018 quarterly consumer insights from its Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey1 to capture the housing expectations and sentiments of non-homeowners – both renters and those living with a family member.
When non-homeowners were asked for the chief reason why they currently do not own a home, most respondents said it was because they were currently unable to afford a mortgage. Over the last quarter of 2018, 43 percent of non-owners said they did not own a home because they were not in a position to purchase, which was down from the third quarter of 2018, when 49 percent of non-homeowners answered the same. Also in the 4th quarter, 33 percent of non-homeowners said they do not own because current life circumstances are not suitable for ownership, while 16 percent said they need the flexibility of renting.
In addition, the survey looked at the main reason why non-homeowners would buy a home in the future. Throughout 2018, 28 to 31 percent of non-owners each quarter said an improvement in their financial situation would be the top reason that would encourage them to buy a home in the future. In each quarter, 26 to 30 percent of non-owners said a change in lifestyle – such as getting married, starting a family or retiring – would be the primary reason they would make a future home purchase.