“Would you like to own a home?” is quickly becoming comparable to questions like “Would you like to own a Ferrari?” and “How would you like to win the lottery?” Sure, it would be great, but it doesn’t seem very realistic.
Maybe the question of owning a home hasn’t quite gotten to that unrealistic of a point yet, but it certainly seems to be on its way. According to the National Association of Realtors March 2016 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey of U.S. households, 63 percent of respondents who do not currently own a home said it would be difficult to qualify for a mortgage given their current financial situation. Especially for first-time homebuyers, the increase in home prices without a similar increase in wages has made saving for a home very difficult.
In addition, only 38 percent of home sales in February 2016 were to people who were renting immediately prior to purchasing the home. That number is down 2 percent from January and on par with February 2015. 54 percent of sales were to people who were already living in their own home and 8 percent of sales went to individuals who were living with parents, relatives, or friends.
As of January 2016, the median price of all existing homes showed a 4 percent growth while the average weekly earnings of the private industry showed only a 2 percent growth.
As rents and home prices continue to grow, homes are beginning to look more and more like a luxury item available only to a select few.