Analysis Shows Growing Income Gap Between Homeowners, First-Time Homebuyers

An analysis by Zillow looks at the income gap among homebuyers, existing homeowners and renters. The typical homebuyer in 2017 earned 6.5 percent more in household income than the typical homeowner. The gap in median household income between buyers and owners amounts to about $5,000 a year – and in some markets, the difference is more than twice that. Zillow points out that the disparity “underscores how much more expensive housing has become for buyers, and the difficulty faced by renters looking to become homeowners in high-demand markets.” For example, in 2017 a typical new buyer household in Dallas earned almost $12,000 more than the typical homeowner. Furthermore, the study shows that the average homebuyer earns twice as much as the average renter household – in some metros, the gap is almost three times. Significant challenges remain to achieving homeownership for low-income renter households: in 2017, the U.S. median household income was $79,900 for buyer households compared to $38,300 for renter households.

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