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Money Monday: Housing affordability worry

Homebuyers getting more anxious about affordability

Source: Investors Business Daily

Homebuyers in the U.S. are growing more anxious about their ability to afford a dwelling of their own, and that’s especially true of millennials, says a new survey from Redfin. Another concern they have is high rent, with nearly half of first-time homebuyers surveyed saying that it pushed them into the housing market. And while low inventory was blamed as a major factor in July’s drop in sales of existing homes, that was third on the list of homebuyers’ worries, after affordability and competition from other shoppers.

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Making sense of the story

In previous surveys, the second- and third-most cited concerns made up a far higher percentage of total responses. Last year it was 31.4 percent, while in May it was 33.5 percent. In other words, affordability is gaining prominence as the number one concern among buyers.

Among the 1,887 homebuyers participating in the Redfin survey, those who said affordability
was their biggest concern grew to 28.1 percent this summer, compared to 26.6 percent a year ago. Anxiety about competition in the market again got the next-biggest share of responses, but it was cited by only 13 percent this year, compared to 17 percent in 2015.

Worry about lack of inventory again was third, but fell 2 percentage points — from 14.4 percent
of responses to 12.4 percent. The only other response reaching double digits was the share of
homebuyers who had “no concerns,” which increased slightly to 10.4 percent from 9.5 percent.

Among millennial homebuyers, nearly a third said affordability was their top concern. About half that number (16 percent) expressed worry about competition from other buyers, while about 1 in 8 (12 percent) were most troubled about the available housing inventory. And slightly more than 1 in 10 said they were the most uneasy about coming up with a down payment.

Full story: www.investors.com/news/real-estate/homebuyers-getting-more-anxious-about-affordability-redfinsays