Bankrate survey: Young Americans plan to continue delaying the homebuying process

Many Americans are postponing at least one major life event because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Bankrate survey. 39 percent of respondents say they’ve delayed buying or leasing a car, buying a home, getting married, having a child or taking another significant step.

Some 12 percent of respondents to Bankrate’s survey say they delayed buying a house, relieving some of the pressure on a booming housing market characterized by a sharp shortage of inventory. More than half of homebuyers who delayed real estate purchases anticipate waiting nine months or longer. Younger buyers were more likely to say they’re waiting.

By age group, homebuying delays are expected by 18 percent of those ages 18 to 34, 15 percent of Americans 35 to 54 and just 5 percent of those 55 and older.

The supply of existing homes for sale is near record lows, in part because homeowners decided not to sell during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, homebuilders haven’t ramped up to historical levels. While there’s a shortage of homes for sale, there’s a glut of buyers vying for homes. That has resulted in bidding wars and soaring prices.