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Renters Want to Buy Their First Homes — They Just Can’t

Federal Reserve rate hikes have cooled the housing market, but borrowing costs have surged and many are struggling to find properties they can afford.

A "For Sale" sign in front of a home in Roseville, California.

A "For Sale" sign in front of a home in Roseville, California.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

While 95% of millennials who rent want to own a home, they’re doubtful they’ll be able to pull it off any time soon.

First there was the pandemic housing frenzy, with bidding wars and cash offers dominating an under-supplied market that was too hot for many first-time buyers to crack, even with historically low mortgage rates. Then came interest rate hikes, which have driven up borrowing costs. And while the Fed has managed to cool housing demand, the supply of available properties is still low and  monthly mortgage payments have spiked out of reach for many potential buyers.