Affordability and flexibility are among the top reasons consumers cite for delaying homeownership now and in the future, according to a recent national survey by Experian.

“Consumers are opting out of homeownership partially because of cost. Our survey showed 54 percent of respondents think houses today are less affordable than they were 10 years go,” says Sandra Bernardo, manager of consumer education at Experian. “This has been a trend for several years since the housing bust as more consumers turn to renting as a more feasible financial option.”

The survey found that more consumers say they will opt out of homeownership in high-cost housing markets, with 32 percent of those in the West saying they will continue to rent this year compared with 24 percent last year. The Northeast saw the biggest jump in renters deciding to opt out of homeownership, up to 26 percent this year from 13 percent from 2016.

Younger people are particularly less likely to buy now.

“More than any other age group, millennials are not planning to buy a home any time soon,” Bernardo says. “In our survey, 34 percent of people in the 18-to-34-year-old age group indicated homeownership is not in the cards for reasons such as wanting to be more flexible to relocate, not wanting to carry as much debt and avoiding home maintenance responsibilities.”

Higher-income renters are just as likely to want to wait to buy: 29 percent of those with an income of $100,000 or more say they won’t buy for five to 10 years, up from 16 percent in last year’s survey.

Consumers in the survey say that there are too few homes on the market and that homes are too costly, but they also face a struggle financing a home purchase, with 43 percent saying they were turned down for a home loan. Among those denied a mortgage, 67 percent say it was because of poor credit or a limited credit history.

For information from the survey, click here.

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