18.3 C
New York
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Homebuying has become so expensive that couples are asking for help in their wedding registry

Paige Mankin and Corey Moss want to buy a home in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area but the couple fears that dream may not come true any time soon, given how expensive the current housing market is.

With that in mind, the New York residents who are engaged to be married in January are asking friends and family for a novel though increasingly popular gift in their wedding registry: contributions for a down payment on the purchase of a new home.

Mankin, 28, and Moss, 32, are among a growing number of couples feeling shut out by the high cost of buying a home these days and are using their upcoming matrimony as a platform for drumming up funds. The number of soon-to-be wed couples who asked for home-fund donations through their online wedding registry on The Knot grew 55% since 2018, the company said. About 20% of couples on the wedding planning and registry website are now asking for home fund donations, a joint report from Zillow and The Knot found.

Milestone gifting

Couples using a registry to help buy a home tend to be younger in age “but they still aspire to achieve the age-old American dream of homeownership,” said Amanda Pendleton, a personal finance expert at Zillow Home Loans.

“Home funds were one of the most popular wedding registry cash funds on The Knot in 2022 — the second, in fact, right behind the honeymoon fund,” said Esther Lee, deputy editor of The Knot, said in the report. “While guests prefer to give cash gifts for celebratory treats, like a sunset honeymoon dinner, milestone gifting is a profoundly thoughtful and significant trend we’re seeing among couples planning on The Knot.”

Mankin and Moss are renting an apartment in Manhattan and are not actively house hunting right now. Still, one person has donated $118 to their home fund so far.

The couple told CBS MoneyWatch that they’re not using registry donations to buy a home right away because interest rates and home prices are too high. Instead, any money given to the fund will grow in a savings account until the couple is ready, Moss said.

“It’s not worth it right now because you can make more money for the down payment by investing it in the market,” said Moss, who works as a management consultant.

Moss and Mankin’s unconventional registry item speaks to how daunting a task saving for a home has become for many Americans. Rising home prices and climbing interest rates have created an affordability crisisacross the nation, housing experts have said. Homes are unaffordable for the typical American in 99% of the nation’s 575 most populated counties, a September report from real estate data provider ATTOM found.

The national median home price hit $430,000 last month, up from $400,000 in January,accordingto Realtor.com data. Meanwhile, interest rates on home loans are flirting with 8%, up from about 6.94% during this same time last year.

Home prices are elevated, in part, because there’s low inventory on the market. Homebuilders are not constructing new homes fast enough to keep up with demand and homeowners have grown reluctant to sell in fear of having to purchase another home at today’s mortgage rates.

Interest rates meanwhile have climbed after the Federal Reserve continually raised its benchmark rate in a monthslong battle against inflation.

Mankin and Moss said they’re in no rush to buy a property in today’s market. For now, the plan is to save as much money as possible then start their homebuying journey when their finances are in better shape.

Related Articles

Latest Articles