Economists and industry experts have been trumpeting the recovery of the housing market, which is good news for anyone who already owns one.
But that recovery isn’t necessarily good news for people looking to buy a new home. In fact, it’s pushing the dream of homeownership farther out of reach for millions of Americans.
The Wall Street Journal reports that while home prices rose in 83 percent of the nation’s major real estate markets last quarter to just 2 percent below their July 2006 peak, those gains are due mostly to a lack of new supply, not an increase in buyers.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of new homes being built yet and those that already exist are getting more expensive, making it more difficult for people to achieve a major part of the American Dream.
On top of that, potential buyers (including many of your employees) may still be struggling with damaged credit, huge student loans and tougher post-recession credit standards.
This helps explain why 200,000 to 300,000 fewer households are buying a new home each year than we would see under “normal” market conditions and overall homeownership has hit a 51-year low of 62.9 percent. (And, this in a time where mortgage interest rates are just about at all-time lows.) The situation forces folks to continue renting a place to live, which causes rents to rise due to this increased demand, further stretching their finances and reducing their ability to save more money for a downpayment on a home.
See how the cycle feeds itself?
While you can’t control the real estate market, you can control your finances (to some extent). That’s where Best Money Moves comes in. We help employees dial down their financial stress, strengthen their financial foundation and put their version of the American Dream – whether it’s buying that house with a white picket fence or retiring early – within reach.
We do so by helping you dial into your biggest financial stressors and providing the education, resources and personalized advice from accredited money coaches you need to help you take back control.
Sound like something your company (or its employees) could use? Email us at [email protected] to learn how you can get a free trial.