Veterans Have High Hopes For Homeownership

Veterans are taking the difficult housing market in stride, according to a recent survey by Veterans United Home Loans.

About 75% of veterans and service members considering homeownership in the next three years plan to buy a home in the next 12 months, despite having fears that home prices in their desired area will be higher (60%) and interest rates will rise (68%).

On top of that, more than half feel that buying a house is within reach for them. Though most believe that both home prices and interest rates will rise before they enter the market, they are confident about their financial futures. Nearly 70% expect to be better off financially a year from now, and more than half feel like they’re already in a better position compared to last year.

“While most Veterans expect higher rates and home prices to stick around, most also expect to be better off financially a year from now,” said Chris Birk, vice president of mortgage insight at Veterans United. 

Many are still nervous about the market, however, with interest rates being their number one barrier to homeownership. High home prices (44%) and inflation (30%) are also depressing their outlooks.

“At a time when many would-be buyers are struggling, this hard-earned home loan benefit [the VA loan] can help Veterans and service members break through a bruising housing market,” Birk added.

A Freddie Mac survey found that 64% of active-duty servicemembers transitioning to civilian life expect their search for affordable housing to be extremely or somewhat challenging.

High housing prices are affecting veterans and service members.

The military offers a Basic Housing Allowance for active members, while veterans receive a monthly housing allowance. But soaring home price appreciation and record-setting rents have made homebuying difficult for both active military and veterans.

The Department of Defense has identified 28 areas where housing costs went up 20% and started giving military members in those areas more housing allowance.

“We want our sailors and our service members to be able to focus on protecting our country, not worrying about their families and housing — ‘Is my family going to be freaking homeless?’ No. That distracts from our mission,” said Michael Drew, a Navy veteran who is now a real estate agent, told KPBS.

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