Life's milestones still driving home ownership dream

by Steve Randall08 Feb 2018
The big events in life continue to be linked with owning a home in the minds of today’s renters.

Despite falling homeownership rates and a perception that millennials in particular prefer a more transient existence; a new survey from the National Association of Realtors shows that owning a home is as much a part of the American Dream as ever.

Getting married, starting a family or retiring are the key lifestyle changes that drive homebuying followed by improved finances and a desire to settle in one place, the survey found.

But buyers’ dreams are restricted by affordability with NAR’s polls throughout 2017 showing more than half of would-be buyers unable to afford to buy. In the last three months of the year 56% said that.

"A tug-of-war continues to take place in many markets throughout the country, where consistently solid job creation is fueling demand, but the lack of supply is creating affordability constraints that are ultimately pulling aspiring buyers further away from owning," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "These extremely frustrating conditions continue to be most apparent at the lower end of the market, which is why the overall share of first-time buyers remains well below where it should be given the strength of the job market and economy."

Around three quarters of respondents said they eventually want to buy.

More market update: