In a Housing Market Increasingly Geared Toward Sellers, U.S. Home Buyers Feeling the Squeeze

As the late spring/early summer real estate season gets into full swing, many young people are hoping to make their first-ever home purchase.

Yet a shocking number of first-time home buyers are likely to walk away disappointed.

With home prices on the rise, fewer homes going on sale and a growing number of buyers clogging up the market, many first-time buyers are seeing their dream homes snatched up before their very eyes.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, home prices have risen at a rate more than double the pace of average hourly wages across the country. As a result, buyers — especially millennials who still face the burdens of student debt — have a harder time finding the money to make a down payment on a new home.

Universally, there is far more demand than supply in the housing market, meaning bidding wars that see a home sell for as much as four times its value aren’t uncommon. This was true even during the winter months of this year, creating a hyper-competitive environment.

“Typically, January, February, even March are not quite as highly competitive as when you go into the spring months,” said Ilona Botton, a Redfin agent in Denver. “That’s not how it was this year. It has been multiple offer situations every single month.”

Despite the fact that buying a home is becoming more difficult, the things people look for when choosing their next house have remained fairly consistent.

There are a few features pretty much all buyers want in a new home. According to Kiplinger, 93% of buyers want their new dwelling to have a separate laundry room. Additionally, 90% of home buyers want outdoor lighting, making this the most in-demand exterior home feature.

Another in-demand feature? Garages. Currently, a little more than half of home buyers — 53% — say they look for a two-car garage when perusing real estate listings; some 20% want a three-car garage or larger.

But in a market where even the successful buyers often have to settle for less, it’s clear that many people won’t be moving into the home of their dreams this summer.

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