Homeownership Alliance Poll Shows High Housing Costs Placing Significant Pressure on Families
WASHINGTON, July 12 -- A new Homeownership Alliance poll finds that the high cost of housing is placing significant pressure on families, causing many to make important life choices based on those costs. Specifically, the poll finds that:
-- More than half of respondents are concerned that the cost of housing will force their children to attend inadequate schools;
-- Nearly half are considering leaving the area in which they live in order to afford desirable housing;
-- Nearly one third of families have someone commuting an hour or more.
“The high cost of housing is placing enormous stress on families, affecting every aspect of their lives,” said Rick Davis, president of the Homeownership Alliance. “Whether it is education, work-life balance or more general quality of life issues, the poll shows that families are feeling the pressure of high housing costs.”
The poll also finds that a majority of Americans making annual incomes of less than $25,000 report that the high cost of homeownership has forced them to rent rather than buy a house or apartment, and 71 percent of all renters feel that the price of homeownership forces them to rent a home rather than buy one.
Disparities exist among racial groups, according to the poll. Minority respondents were evenly divided on the question of whether high costs forced them to rent rather than buy, while just 28 percent of whites reported high housing costs as the reason they rent. In addition, nearly 45 percent of minorities reported commutes of an hour or more, compared to only 28 percent among whites.
Housing affordability for lower-income families has deteriorated over the past several years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent American Housing Survey, more than 70 percent of families with incomes in the lowest quintile spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing, and 46 percent spend more than half of their income on home mortgage or rental payments. (For more information about the American Housing Survey, go to http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/ahs.html .)
The National Association of Home Builders/Well Fargo Housing Opportunity Index has shown a decline of affordability across the national marketplace from an index of 63.7 to 52.0 over the past three years. (For more information about the Housing Opportunity Index, go to http://www.nahb.org/page.aspx/category/sectionID=135 .) The composite National Association of Realtors(r) Housing Affordability Index slipped from 133.9 to 132.6 in the same period. (For more information about the Housing Affordability Index, go to http://www.realtor.org/research.nsf/pages/HousingInx?OpenDocument .)
Both the Home Builders and the Realtors(r) utilize sophisticated economic analyses to produce affordability indices. The indices are broad measures that include such factors as income, housing costs and mortgage rates. For instance, when housing costs fall, homeownership becomes more affordable.
Among the regions in the United States, the impact of higher homeownership costs are most profound in the Northeast and the West, where 54 percent of those polled agree that costs may cause them to move to another area. Only 41 percent in the South and Midwest agree.
The poll of 2,000 adults was conducted June 13-15 and June 20- 22 and has a margin of error of (plus or minus) 2.1 percent. The data related to renters is from the June 20-22 sample of 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of (plus or minus)3.1 percent.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Homeownership Alliance is a coalition of almost 20 organizations committed to ensuring support for the American housing system. Members include Consumer Federation of America, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, The Enterprise Foundation, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Habitat for Humanity International, Independent Community Bankers of America, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, National Association of Realtors(r), World Floor Covering Association, National Bankers Association, National Council of La Raza, and National Urban League. For more information on the Homeownership Alliance, visit the Web site at http://www.homeownershipalliance.com .
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