Most renters in the United States still consider home ownership part of the “American Dream,” but it’s getting more difficult for them to afford it. According to a recent survey of 6,000 of its users by rental listings site Zumper, 71% of its respondents hold that view, and even more—89.9%—responded that they intend to buy a home.
In a third of Zumper’s surveyed cities, however, fewer than half the renters make enough money to qualify for a mortgage. It’s a conundrum—though less of one for Austinites than renters in other cities.
Austin had the smallest gap between the desire to own a home and the ability to afford a mortgage, according to the survey. According to Zumper, that’s most likely due to a strong local economy and real estate prices that have risen more slowly than some other major cities.
The survey also noted that, while the ages of its respondents tend to skew young, it found that more baby boomers are choosing to rent: 16.9% of respondents who currently rent indicated that they owned at some point in the past; their median age is 47, and median annual income among this group was between $50,000 and $75,000.
Among millennials between the ages of 20 and 29, in contrast, 94.4%, stated that they plan to buy a home, a number that falls to 70.2% among renters between the ages of 50 and 59.
The Zumper survey also found that 62.2% of millennial renters in that age range also stated that they had roommates. Excluding ages of renters most likely to be in college, the survey found the figure was nearly 55% for those between the ages of 24 and 32.