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$150,000 Income And Still Renting – Why?

  • 2 min read

Here’s a prime illustration of the housing dilemma in the US: three million individuals earning a substantial $150,000 annually are still renting homes. The soaring home prices over recent years have made homeownership challenging, even for those with a six-figure income.

The affordability crisis
Consider this: with a median house price of $450,000 (or even higher in certain markets), purchasing anything decent would result in a monthly mortgage payment of about $5,000–$5,500. When factoring in taxes, insurance, and other homeownership costs, a monthly income of $8,000 is necessary to afford this expense. For those earning $150,000, almost two-thirds of their income would be devoured by a mortgage, prompting many to continue renting.

Savings vs. Homeownership
Saving for a down payment exacerbates the issue. Even with a 20% down payment on a $500,000 home, a substantial $100,000 is required. Saving 20% of a $150,000 income equates to $30,000 annually, necessitating four years to amass enough for a down payment.

Urgent Need for New Home Construction
The pressing need for new home construction is evident. Despite slower purchase volumes in the single-family real estate market, the demand persists. Three million individuals still renting at higher incomes, coupled with others desiring homeownership upgrades, contribute to this demand.

The human toll
Individual stories echo this housing crisis: professionals like an accountant struggling in a two-bedroom apartment or a 30-year-old business owner unable to afford a house despite a flourishing career. The trend of high-earning Americans opting to rent is a significant shift from the past.

Future Prospects for Builders and Contractors
Builders and contractors must acknowledge this substantial demand for homes. However, the market currently faces a perplexing confluence of high prices, interest rates, and limited construction resources. Meeting the pent-up demand for single-family residences seems distant given the current situation.

The long road ahead
Unfortunately, there’s no immediate resolution in sight. The volume of people vying for homeownership, combined with constraints on home availability and construction staffing, suggests that fulfilling the demand for primary residences might take a while.

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