A home for sale in Southern California. Photo by Alexander Nguyen
A home for sale in Southern California. Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Current renters value homeownership and want to buy a home but many are encountering affordability and financial obstacles that prevent it, according to a survey released Wednesday by the California Association of Realtors.

Nearly half of renters — 48 percent — plan to buy a home in the future, with 10 percent saying that they plan to buy within a year, says CAR’s “2016 Renter Survey.” For those not planning to buy, an improvement in finances, lower housing prices, and saving enough for a down payment would motivate them to buy now, it says.

Of the 28 percent of renters who don’t plan to buy in the future, 50 percent said they can’t afford to buy, 20 percent will not buy because they prefer to rent, 19 percent said they can’t qualify for a mortgage, and 15 percent lack a down payment, according to the survey. Job uncertainty (9 percent), economic uncertainty (12 percent), and housing market uncertainty (6 percent) were among other reasons renters cited for not buying a home.

Homeownership remains important to renters, with nearly half — 45 percent — rating it 8 or higher in importance on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely important, CAR said. The average was 6.8. Nearly all renters — 95 percent — see advantages to homeownership.

One of the surprising findings of the survey is that more than one in four millennial renters said they plan to purchase a home that will accommodate their parents, and about one in five millennials indicated they plan to pool funds with family members to buy a home, a CAR statement said.

Primarily reflecting cultural values, Hispanic renters were more likely to buy a home that will accommodate their parents or adult children than any other ethnic group, with 46 percent of survey respondents so inclined, compared with 35 percent of blacks, 32 percent of Asians, and 29 percent of whites, it said.

—City News Service

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