Fifty-three percent of homeowners are financially better off than they were four years ago, versus 44% of renters.
Thirty-two percent of Americans have lost their job or lost wages—or someone in their household has—due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. residents that was fielded in October.
Broken down by homeownership status, 39% of renters reported a lost job or wages, versus 30% of homeowners.
“The pandemic is exacerbating inequality and widening the wealth gap between those who own homes and those who don’t,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Renters who have lost jobs or wages are likely dipping into savings for daily living expenses, pushing homeownership further out of reach. More homeowners have been able to keep their jobs, and many who can work remotely are cashing in their home equity to purchase a bigger, better home in a more desirable area.”
Homeowners are more likely than renters to be financially better off now
Fifty percent of respondents to the same survey say they’re financially better off than they were four years ago.
Broken down by homeownership status, 53% of homeowners are financially better off than they were four years ago, compared with 44% of renters. On the flip side, 37% of renters are financially worse off versus just 22% of homeowners.
Broken down by political affiliation, 63% of Trump voters are financially better off than they were four years ago, versus 43% of Biden voters.
Renters are significantly more likely to be Biden voters, with 57% of renters reporting themselves as Biden voters 32% reporting themselves as Trump voters, according to a breakdown of survey respondents who are planning to vote this year. Homeowners are equally likely to support each candidate: 47% of homeowners are Trump voters and 46% are Biden voters.
“Even though the country is in the midst of a major economic downturn, the majority of homeowners have made financial gains over the last four years, partly due a big increase in home values,” Fairweather said. “But renters who have faced rising housing costs without a corresponding rise in wealth from home equity are more likely to be financially worse off than they were four years ago. The desire for change may be one reason why renters are significantly more likely to have voted for Joe Biden for president.”
Redfin surveyed over 3,000 U.S. residents aged 18 and up between October 7 and October 15, 2020. The demographics of the survey sample were on par with U.S. Census breakdowns for age, gender, race, and geography in order to match as closely as possible to the makeup of the general population.