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The MReport Webcast: Monday 2/16/2015

Fast-rising rents have made it difficult for many Americans to save up a down payment for a home purchase—and experts say that problem is unlikely to go away any time soon. Late last year, real estate firm Zillow reported that renters living in the United States paid a cumulative $441 billion in rents throughout 2014, a nearly 5 percent annual increase spurred by rising numbers of renters and climbing prices. Results from a more recent survey conducted by Zillow and Pulsenomics suggest that rent prices will continue to be a problem for the aspiring homeowner for years to come.

Out of more than 100 real estate experts surveyed, 51 percent said they expect rental affordability won't improve for at least another two years, Zillow reported Friday. Another 33 percent were a little more optimistic, calling for a deceleration in rental price increases sometime in the next one to two years. Only five percent said they expect affordability conditions to improve for renters within the next year.

In a recent survey conducted by Redfin, 38 percent of Americans age 18 to 34 say they either would or have put off a wedding or honeymoon in favor of saving to buy a home. That statistic makes sense, the brokerage says, considering the average cost of a wedding: nearly $30,000 in 2013, according to wedding website The Knot-dot-com. Adding in costs for a honeymoon, that expense can balloon up to match the average down payment on a home in many states.