Most Big City Renter Qualify for Homeownership

Across the country’s largest rental markets, 14 percent of renters have high credit scores, good incomes and could in fact afford to buy the median home in their market.

Homeownership has declined over the past decade, and more people are renting than ever in recent history. That means that people who can afford to buy are renting instead which drives up demand (and thus competition) for rentals.

Young adults, both affluent and otherwise, are renting longer than ever before. This is due to a variety of factors. Many are delaying the “hallmarks of adulthood” that lead to homeownership such as finishing their education and starting families.

Markets with lower homeownership rates have higher proportions of on-market renters with strong credit and high incomes. However, even when controlling for the homeownership rate, booming markets closely associated with the tech industry usually have extremely high rates of qualified renters.

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