Has The American Dream Of Homeownership Become A Myth?

Homeownership is the quintessential American dream, but it’s become increasingly elusive for many households. A multitude of factors, including soaring home prices, elevated interest rates and persistent inflation, has created the perfect storm, making homeownership a distant reality for more U.S. residents.

It’s impossible to overexaggerate the benefits to owning one’s own home. In 2022, the primary residence accounted for more than a quarter of all assets held by U.S. households, underscoring just how important homeownership is in building long-term wealth.

However, according to analysis conducted by Redfin, a mere 16% of homes for sale in 2023 were considered affordable for the typical U.S. household, the lowest share on record. This stark figure represents a decline from 21% in 2022 and a significant drop from over 40% before the pandemic-fueled homebuying frenzy.


While the vast majority of renters (81%) aspire to own a home in the future, a staggering 61% are plagued by concerns that they may never realize this dream, according to a new survey conducted this month by the Harris Poll. This sentiment is particularly pronounced among renters, with 57% expressing the belief that the American Dream of homeownership is effectively “dead,” compared to 43% of those who already own a home.