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Housing Affordability: The Demographic Divide

money-houseThe National Housing Pulse Survey, which shows and measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s top 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas on a biennial basis, was released Wednesday showing concerns in housing affordability. The National Association of Realtors, who released the report, said affordability shows a clear demographic divide, especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. In fact, more than half of unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, where only 40 percent of married and white Americans think the same.

Despite the rising prices and low availability, 84 percent of Americans believe it is a good financial decision to buy a home, which is the highest number since 2007. With that being said, oddly, 6 out of 10 said they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. Out of the top five issues Americans are facing in their area, affordability ranked fourth behind lack of affordable health care, low wages, debt making it hard to save, and heroin and opioid drug abuse. In fifth place, job placement and employment.

Of the top reasons potential buyers think it is important to own a home, building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood are the most important, according to NAR President William E. Brown.

In line with a recent report on down payments, more buyers believe lower down payments than the standard 20 percent are necessary. Seventy percent of respondents believe down payments should be 10 percent or less. With that being said, misrepresentations on higher down payment requirements were most prevalent in older adults and larger cities. The median down payment for first-time homebuyers the last three years has been 6 percent, while repeat buyers have been at 14 percent in the last three out of four years.

About Author: Brianna Gilpin

Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation's leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email brianna.gilpin@thefivestar.com.

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