Half of Americans make big sacrifices to pay for their housing

22% of those surveyed by Qualtrics explained that they have skipped meals and 20.7% have worked overtime to meet financial commitments.

Half of the country's homeowners and renters (49.9%) face difficulties making their housing payment. Many of them make great sacrifices to be able to meet their financial commitments. The information was revealed by a survey commissioned by Redfin and conducted by Qualtrics in February 2024.

Although the study explained that the most common sacrifice was not taking vacations or taking fewer vacations, many expressed having more severe problems meeting payments related to their homes.

"More than one-third of homeowners and renters (34.5%) who struggle to afford housing indicated that they skipped vacations in the past year in order to afford their monthly costs. But many people who struggle to afford housing made more serious sacrifices: 22% have skipped meals and 20.7% have worked extra hours at their job. A similar share (20.6%) have sold belongings," the survey detailed.

In that sense, more than one in six people (17.9%) who struggle to afford a home have borrowed money from friends or family. Meanwhile, 17.6% dipped into their retirement savings. More than one in seven (15.6%) have delayed or skipped medical treatments.

“Housing has become so financially burdensome in America that some families can no longer afford other essentials, including food and medical care, and have been forced to make major sacrifices, work overtime and ask others for money so they can cover their monthly costs” explained Redfin economic research leader Chen Zhao.

In that sense, the study indicated that 13.5% of millennials who struggle to make housing payments have turned to their retirement savings to cover their monthly costs.

"Most millennials are not retired, but housing affordability has become so strained that some are resorting to outside-the-box strategies to cover expenses. Millennials are the largest adult generation, and many are aging into their homebuying years at a time when home prices and mortgage rates are high," the survey notes.

The income needed to afford a starter home is up 8% from a year ago, prompting some young buyers to use family money to cover their down payment.