Most college grads are OK renting but want to buy in 1-5 years

by Steve Randall24 May 2019

America’s college graduates are feeling optimistic about achieving homeownership and feel that it is important but are they being realistic?

A new survey of college grads under 30 by the not-for-profit real estate corporation The NHP Foundation found that although 89% of respondents are comfortable renting vs. buying a home for now, 60% expect to become homeowners within 1 to 5 years.

The optimistic cohort also believe that they will be better off than their parents (88% said so) despite recent reports that suggest otherwise.

One thing that may derail the desire to buy a home is student loan debt, held by 55% of respondents and amounting to more than $50K in 10% of cases.

Despite this financial burden, 38.8% of respondents say they will have paid down their student loans within 1-3 years.

Homeownership is important
The desire to own a home remains very strong with 70% believing homeownership is “important” to “very important”.

But a challenge for these young adults is finding affordable housing in under-supplied markets.

Renting is also likely to present a challenge for those wanting to save for a down payment; two thirds of respondents are aware that renting is likely to take more than 30% of their income.

“We were surprised to learn that 54% of these young graduates know that they could potentially qualify for affordable housing under HUD’s definition,” stated Richard Burns, President & CEO of The NHP Foundation. “This helps us understand how we need to consider housing to suit these renters, who may be in apartments for longer than they think.”


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