Percentage of Renters Who Think They’ll Never Own Climbs, Redfin Finds

(Image courtesy of Redfin; Breakout image courtesy of braden chilton/

A recent Redfin, Seattle, survey found 38% of U.S. renters don’t believe they’ll ever own a home. That compares with 27% in May and June 2023.  

Reasoning related to affordability dominated the conviction shared by respondents in a survey conducted in February.

The survey found 44% of renters who don’t believe they’ll own a home in the near future point to the current prices. Thirty-five percent cited the ability to save for a down payment, 33% the ability to afford mortgage payments and 32% pointed to high mortgage rates.

In that context of affordability, 24% of renters say they regularly struggle to afford their housing payments, and 45% say they sometimes struggle to do so.

“Housing costs are high across the board, but renting is a more affordable and realistic option for many Americans right now–especially those who have never owned a home and aren’t able to tap into equity from a previous sale,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While owning a home is usually a sound long-term investment, the barriers to entry and upfront costs of buying are higher than renting. Buying typically requires a sizable down payment and approval for a mortgage–things that are difficult for many people today, when the typical down payment is near $60,000 and mortgage payments are sky-high.”

There is also a small subset–14%–who aren’t interested in owning a home.

By age group, Generation Z is showing the most optimism. Only 8% of Gen Z members who are renting think they’ll never own a home, compared with 22% of millennials, 40% of Gen X and 81% of Baby Boomers in similar situations.