ANNAPOLIS – Marylanders think housing costs are too high, housing options are limited, and people of color face significant challenges when searching for quality, affordable housing, according to a poll conducted by American Strategies, for Maryland REALTORS®, the state’s largest trade association serving more than 28,000 REALTOR® members in Maryland.
As part of Maryland REALTORS®’ “Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods” campaign, which is examining ways to increase housing opportunity and housing equity for all Marylanders, the association sought to discover how Marylanders feel on a variety of housing-related issues.
Some of the findings include:
- 57% say that the cost to buy a home in their part of Maryland is too high; 61% say the cost to rent an apartment in their part of Maryland is too high.
- One-in-five households are either very worried or somewhat worried about missing a rent or mortgage payment in the next three months.
- Most voters believe people of color face significant challenges when finding quality, affordable housing.
- Two-thirds feel there is too little housing available for people with low incomes; 62% say there is too little housing for younger people and those just getting started in their careers.
- Marylanders see “huge obstacles” to homeownership, including: having a job but not making enough to afford a home (56%); having too much debt from student loans (55%); having enough money for down payment and closing costs (54%); and having too much credit card or consumer debt (48%).
“The results from this poll confirm what we’ve seen and heard with regard to the struggles people are facing with housing opportunity,” said Dee Dee Miller, 2021 Maryland REALTORS® President. “In January 2021, the average price for a home in Maryland was more than $387,000, and that makes it tough for most first-time homebuyers and people with lower incomes to buy a home. We have long recognized that one of the best ways to reduce the wealth gap among populations is through homeownership. If the bar to entry remains too high, this wealth gap will persist and even grow larger.”
Maryland REALTORS® hosted a press conference to review these findings while also exploring some solutions. Association officers and staff were joined by Maryland State Sen. Melony Griffith, President Pro Tem, Maryland State Del. Benjamin Brooks, National Executive Director of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Antoine Thompson, and Joe Goode, CEO of American Strategies (American Strategies conducted the poll). Maryland Housing Affordability Report (Dec. 2020)