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Renters Cite Affordability as the Main Obstacle to Homeownership


Renters Cite Affordability as the Main Obstacle to Homeownership

Prospective buyers are retreating to the rental market as housing prices continue to soar

April 7, 2022
Housing prices graph

Nearly one third of all U.S. renters cited a lack of local housing affordability as their main reason for renting instead of becoming homeowners, and 30% were also unable to save for a down payment, according to a recent Redfin survey. Nearly half (45%) of all renters said that debt from credit cards, student loans, medical bills, etc. has prevented them from buying a home, and 23% are hindered by financial setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the majority of renters planning to move were upgrading to a better home or seeking out greater affordability, a large share of those relocating were doing so for reasons out of their control. Eleven percent of respondents said their landlord is selling, 10% said that they plan to move because their current unit doesn’t have adequate heat, hot water, or electricity, and 6% are relocating because their landlord is terminating their lease. 

Nearly as many respondents (44%) said home prices are too high where they would want to buy, and 38% said they didn’t have enough income to save money to buy a home. 

Meanwhile, almost one-quarter (23%) of renters said pandemic-related setbacks like loss of a job or wages have kept them from buying, and 19% said high rental prices are a factor. 

Just 12% of renters said financial obstacles are not a factor keeping them from buying a home. 

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