Kirk Rohrig is concerned he may soon join the growing ranks of Americans shut out of the housing recovery and the financial benefits that spring from it.
Rohrig, who is unmarried, began hunting in November for his first home in Portland, Oregon, where cash buyers are driving up property prices. The software support specialist earns about $55,000 a year, has a high credit score of 790 and can’t find anything worth buying for about $200,000.
“Even fixer uppers are out of my range,” Rohrig, 33, said. “I went to look at a house that was garbage. There were cracks around all the windows and full condensation on the inside. It was on the market for $225,000.”
First-time homebuyers hurt by rising prices and tougher credit standards are disappearing from the market, slowing the pace of the three-year recovery. The decline of these buyers, many of whom are young and non-white, also threatens to widen the wealth gap between owners, who benefit from appreciation, and renters, said Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist.