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Majority of US renters believe the American dream of homeownership is dead: Survey

Homeownership study.
Homeownership study.

For the majority of US renters, buying a house no longer feels possible, a bleak new poll has found.

In a survey of 2,047 American adults conducted by the Harris Poll Thought Leadership and Future Practice in January, 57% of renters agree with the statement that “The American Dream of owning a home is dead,” the Guardian reported.

A slightly lower rate of homeowners (43%) agreed, reflecting an overall negative perception of the economy generally and the housing market’s unaffordability specifically.

The gloomy national outlook is significantly reflective of the current sky-high 30-year mortgage rate, which hit a two-decade high of 7.79% last year, the lack of available housing and the prohibitive price tags on what housing is available. None of it is helped by the fact that, on Tuesday, reports emerged that US inflation rose by 3.2% in February, signaling there won’t be immediate relief for interest rates.

Many Americans believe the dream of homeownership has, for many, become merely a fantasy. sam – stock.adobe.com
Many Americans believe the dream of homeownership has, for many, become merely a fantasy. sam – stock.adobe.com
Those surveyed feel buying a home today doesn’t bring as big of a return on investment as it once did. M.a.u – stock.adobe.com
Those surveyed feel buying a home today doesn’t bring as big of a return on investment as it once did. M.a.u – stock.adobe.com
A general sentiment of defeatism has consumed would-be homeowners. Steve – stock.adobe.com
A general sentiment of defeatism has consumed would-be homeowners. Steve – stock.adobe.com

Weird feelings about the economy “drive people to be pessimistic about their ability to save for a house in the future,” Harris Poll chief strategy officer Libby Rodney told the Guardian. “That’s kind of being reflected in this poll, this reckoning with instability in the economy.”

Indeed, over 55% of both renters and homeowners agreed with statements including, “The return on investment on homeownership today isn’t what it used to be,” “I am worried that the housing market will only worsen in the future,” and “The current economic environment makes me hesitant about making a real estate move.”

Despite the defeatism, most of those surveyed said that they do want to own a home — most just feel it’s an impossibility.

A separate survey published last month by Bankrate.com found the same thing: Americans still aspire to homeownership — but for most, it has become less a goal and more of a fantasy.

“What you see is fundamentally, in the psyche of Americans, they want to own homes. But it’s: what is it going to take?” Rodney said. “How do you meet these desires in a way that creates a lot of security for people?”