Study: What’s more stressful than buying a new home? A divorce or finding a new job. But events such as weddings, car buying or finding a college are not.
SEATTLE – Nearly two-thirds of recent U.S. homebuyers (59%) think purchasing a house is more stressful than dating, according to a report from Qualtrics commissioned by Redfin covering May-June, 2023.
“Getting ghosted by your date is stressful, but purchasing a home in today’s market comes with its own unique set of anxieties,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Buyers are increasingly ghosting sellers as housing costs climb, and high mortgage rates are prompting many homeowners to stay put instead of selling – meaning house hunters have a record low number of homes to swipe right on.”
Of the life events respondents had to choose from, respondents found only two more nerve-wracking than buying a home: 57% said divorce and 56% said finding a new job.
The results don’t necessarily apply to other real estate markets. With higher mortgage rates and fewer homes to choose from, more people moving in 2023 were doing so out of need rather than desire, often tied to a major life event, such as a divorce or new job. One in 10 home sellers say they’re moving because of a return-to-office policy.
Age, race affect home buying stress
- Millennials and Gen Z buyers were more likely to see homebuying as stressful – baby boomers and Gen X not as much. Baby boomers, at least, largely have a stronger financial position than the rest since they’ve been building home equity for years. In fact, boomers recently overtook millennials as a total percentage of homebuyers.
- Older generations were most likely to emphasize the stress of divorce; 67% of boomers said divorce is more stressful than homebuying, compared with 61% of millennials and 48% of Gen Z respondents.
- More than two-thirds of white respondents (64%) said buying a home is more stressful than getting into college – but that was flipped for Black respondents, with 57% saying “getting into college” is more stressful.
- Roughly one-quarter of Black adults say they carry student loan debt, compared with 14% of white adults.
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