More than two-thirds of Americans believe that owning a home is an essential part of the American dream, according to a new survey released by the National Association of Home Builders of more than 11,300 registered voters.

“Americans continue to place a high priority on homeownership and work hard to achieve this goal for their families,” says NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.

Other recent surveys also have shown a high desire for homeownership, despite the homeownership rate remaining stalled near a historical low of 64 percent. About 80 percent of millennials recently surveyed by rental website Apartment List say they hope to one day buy a home.

However, being able to afford one is the main obstacle, millennials say, that is holding them back. Thirty-six percent of the 24,000 millennial renters born between 1982 and 2004 surveyed said they’ll likely need to wait more than five years before they’ll have saved enough to buy.

More than two-thirds of survey respondents say they don’t even have $1,000 in down-payment savings.

Wannabe Buyers Aren’t Saving Enough

“A lot of college-educated millennials are still carrying a lot of student debt,” Salviati says. “To move to some of the best-paying jobs, millennials have to live in some of the most expensive cities. And throughout the country, increases in home prices are outpacing wage growth.”

Still, in reality, most first-time buyers put down a lot less than 20 percent or 10 percent on a home, so millennials may need less money than they think.

The Federal Housing Administration insures loans that require only a 3.5 percent down payment. Other loan options with smaller down-payment requirements are available, too.



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