Redfin Finds Half of U.S. Homeowners, Renters Struggle to Afford Housing

(Illustration courtesy of Redfin)

Half of U.S. homeowners and renters sometimes, regularly or greatly struggle to afford their housing payments, according to a new report from Redfin, Seattle.

Many report making sacrifices to cover their housing costs, Redfin said in a new report, Skipping Meals and Working Overtime: The Sacrifices Americans Make to Afford Housing.

The most common sacrifice was taking no or fewer vacations. More than one-third of homeowners and renters (34.5%) who struggle to afford housing indicated that they skipped vacations in the past year in order to afford their monthly costs, Redfin said.

But many people who struggle to afford housing made more serious sacrifices: 22% skipped meals and 20.7% worked extra hours at their job, the report said.

“Housing has become so financially burdensome in America that some families can no longer afford other essentials, including food and medical care, and have been forced to make major sacrifices, work overtime and ask others for money so they can cover their monthly costs,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Fortunately, the country’s leaders are starting to pay attention, and homebuyers may get a reprieve in June if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, which would bring down the cost of getting a mortgage.”

The report said more than one of every six people (17.9%) who struggle to afford housing borrowed money from friends/family and 17.6% dipped into their retirement savings. More than one in seven (15.6%) delayed or skipped medical treatments.