Pandemic slammed brakes on nearly half of would-be homebuyers: Survey

But a new Rentcafe survey found Gen Z and millennials were more optimistic about a purchase within 5 years

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Jul.July 09, 2020 08:00 AM
(iStock)
(iStock)

The coronavirus has upended pretty much everything, so it’s no surprise that nearly 45 percent of renters who were looking to buy a home say the pandemic has delayed or derailed those plans.
Younger would-be-buyers still have hope. The older ones? Not as much.

That’s according to a newly-released survey from Rentcafe — conducted at the end of May — which also found that nearly a quarter of renters said they doubt they will ever buy a home.

In addition to the economic uncertainty and job loss the pandemic has created, respondents also attributed the gloom to overall high home prices, according to the survey, which asked 7,000 renters about their housing plans before and after the virus hit.

The respondents’ outlook for the future differed by age group. About half of baby boomers said they weren’t interested in ever buying a home. Meanwhile, less than 15 percent of Gen Z and millennials said they would never buy a home.

Millennials, now in prime homebuying age, are the most optimistic of the bunch. About 66 percent of millennials said they would buy a home within the next five years, Rentcafe found.

And about 60 percent of Gen X respondents said they would make a home purchase in the next five years, while about half of Gen Z respondents said the same.

While the pandemic has made it more difficult to buy a home for many, buyers are returning to the market. Mortgage applications last week were up 33 percent year-over-year and the average purchase loan price rose to a weekly high of around $365,700, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

And while nearly a third of millennials and a quarter of Gen X renters planned to upgrade to a larger apartment, about 40 percent of Gen Z renters said they would downgrade to a smaller apartment. Just 25 percent of millennials and Gen Xers said the same.


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