NEW YORK – Oct. 24, 2016 – Student loan debt and high rental prices continue to sideline potential homebuyers. More than half – 53 percent – with student loan debt say the debt is “somewhat” or “very much” an obstacle to them in buying a home, up from 49 percent in 2014, according to the fourth annual housing survey from NeighborWorks America.
“With the homeownership rate at the lowest point in decades, and minority home ownership plunging even further, these data signal a weak home buying market going forward, despite near record-low mortgage rates and broad-based national income growth,” says Paul Weech, president and CEO of NeighborWorks America.
Nearly 60 percent of renters say they want their next housing move to be into homeownership, according to the survey, but rising rental and home costs are delaying student loan holders. A survey by the National Association of Realtors® and SALT conducted earlier this year found similar results: Nearly three-quarters of non-homeowners repaying student loan debt say it’s delaying them from a home purchase; and for many, that delay could be by more than five years.
Affordability concerns are growing. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed by NeighborWorks say they believe that rents in their area are too high for a person to save for a future home.
The study says that better awareness of downpayment assistance programs and student loan debt counseling may help affordability. NeighborWorks found that 71 percent of Americans were unaware or not sure about downpayment assistance programs. Further, 77 percent of those with student debt say they had never heard or were not familiar with loan counseling programs from nonprofits.
“These programs could help a consumer manage their student debt and provide information about down payment assistance programs that could increase the possibility of qualifying and obtaining affordable and sustainable home ownership,” according to NeighborWorks.
Source: NeighborWorks America
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