Although median home prices have been on the climb for almost eight years, Americans are still holding onto the dream of homeownership, according to Nerdwallet’s 2020 Home Buyer Report released on Tuesday. In a survey of more than 2,000 adults, 84 percent said homeownership is a ‘priority,’ a nine percent increase from 2019.

Millennials were the most passionate about homeownership, with 88 percent saying buying a home is one of their main goals. Eighty-five percent of gen-Xers, 84 percent of gen-Zers and 79 percent of baby boomers said the same, with 55 percent noting homeownership is a “good investment.”

Holden Lewis

“There is colossal pent-up demand for homeownership, both among young people who are ready to pair up and start families, and those who see owning a home as the next step in adulthood,” said NerdWallet home and mortgage expert Holden Lewis in a prepared statement.

Eleven percent of Americans plan to purchase a home by 2021, while another 39 percent are expecting to make a purchase by 2025. More than half of millennials (53 percent) and gen-Zers (57 percent) want to become homeowners within the next five years, compared to 42 percent of gen-Xers and 23 percent of baby boomers, who have likely already made their first home purchase.

For the 16 percent of Americans who said homeownership isn’t on current their to-do list, insufficient income (42 percent) and an inability to save for a down payment (37 percent) were the most significant roadblocks. Affordability is even an issue for current homeowners, with 23 percent saying a lack of reasonably-priced listings is preventing them from moving up.

Beyond personal finances, a majority of Americans said politics and the economy impact their homebuying decisions. Forty-nine percent of respondents said the current economy and political climate would make them “more likely” to purchase a home this year, while 29 percent said it would make them “less likely.” Meanwhile, only 26 percent said they’d “reconsider or stop” their homebuying plans if their chosen presidential candidate didn’t win this year.

No matter the obstacle, Nerdwallet’s Holden said real estate professionals have the ability to educate aspiring homeowners and help current buyers successfully navigate the market.

“These folks feel optimistic, but are aware that there’s a lot they don’t know,” he said. “They’re looking for guidance so they can feel confident about finding a good home they can afford, and qualifying for a mortgage.”

“According to estimates, roughly 6 million new and existing homes will be sold in 2020, and well-informed buyers will have the edge,” he concluded.

Email Marian McPherson

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