A Fannie Mae survey recently revealed some of the most highly-rated benefits of homeownership, which continue to be key drivers in today’s power-packed housing market. Here are the top four financial benefits of owning a home according to consumer respondents:
- 88% – a better chance of saving for retirement
- 87% – the best investment plan
- 85% – the chance to be better off financially
- 85% – the chance to build up wealth
Additional financial advantages of homeownership included in the survey are having the best overall tax situation and being able to live within your budget.
Does homeownership actually give you a better chance to build wealth?
No one can question a person’s unique feelings about the importance of homeownership. However, it’s fair to ask if the numbers justify homeownership as a financial asset.
Last fall, the Federal Reserve released the Survey of Consumer Finances, a report done every three years, with the latest edition covering through 2019. Their findings confirmed that homeownership is a clear financial benefit. The survey found that homeowners have forty times higher net worth than renters ($255,000 for homeowners compared to $6,300 for renters).
The difference in net worth between homeowners and renters has continued to grow. Here’s a graph showing the results of the last four Fed surveys:
The above graph only includes data through 2019, but according to CoreLogic, the equity held by homeowners grew by $26,300 over the last twelve months alone. That means the gap between the net worth of homeowners and renters has probably widened even further over the last year.
Some might argue the difference in net worth may be due to homeowners normally having larger incomes than renters and therefore the ability to save more money. However, a study by First American shows homeowners have greater net worth than renters regardless of their income level. Here are the findings:
Others may think homeowners are older and that’s why they have a greater net worth. However, a Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report on homeowners and renters over the age of 65 reveals:
“The ability to build equity puts homeowners far ahead of renters in terms of household wealth…the median owner age 65 and over had home equity of $143,500 and net wealth of $319,200. By comparison, the net wealth of the same-age renter was just $6,700.”
Homeowners 65 and older have 47.6 times greater net worth than renters.
You don’t have to do it all on your own
While the “American Dream” of homeownership has long been to become independent and stop living with one’s parents, this is far from the norm in other parts of the world.
The universal financial obstacles that the pandemic has presented, coupled with the reality of a very large generation now aging into retirement as another struggles to find footing in a rapidly paced housing market, is forcing many to reconsider these values, to highly beneficial results.
Multigenerational housing is now becoming far more popular as families with adult children and/or aging parents seek out homes with features like mother-in-law suites, above-garage apartments, and dual masters.
Plus, the added benefits of multiple incomes buying into one home make it possible for these families to purchase better accommodations than they would be able to alone.
This handy graphic has more information on the emerging shift towards multigenerational homeownership:
The idea of homeownership as a direct way to build your net worth has met the test of time. Let’s connect if you’re ready to take steps toward becoming a homeowner – alone or with family by your side!