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Fewer renters believe they will achieve American Dream: study

Just 24 percent of survey respondents said it was “extremely likely” they would buy property. (Credit: iStock)

Just 24 percent of survey respondents said it was “extremely likely” they would buy property. (Credit: iStock)

A growing number of American renters believe they will never buy a home, a new survey has found.

The findings, to be released today by Freddie Mac and reported first by The Wall Street Journal, show the mounting pressure renters face as home and rent prices increase out of step with inflation and wage growth.

Just 24 percent of respondents said it was “extremely likely” they would buy a home — an 11-point drop from four years ago. There was a 15 percent increase in the number of renters who believed renting was more affordable than buying, now up to 82 percent.

Of those surveyed who had recently moved, 44 percent said they made the decision because they couldn’t afford their rent anymore.

“The notion that there’s a housing affordability crisis is not new,” Freddie Mac’s incoming chief executive, David Brickman, told the Journal. “But this is really bringing it closer to home in terms of what people are doing about it.”

The biggest hurdle faced by renters hoping to enter the market was raising the money for down payments, the study found. This problem was particularly pronounced for millenials saddled with student loan debt.

The study comes as Democratic presidential hopefuls present their visions to the nation in televised debates over two nights, with housing affordability central to some of their campaigns.

Among the candidates’ proposed plans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she will pump $500 billion into building and preserving affordable housing, while Sen. Cory Booker said he will offer a tax credit to renters to ensure that they don’t spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. [WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan

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