Homeowner Realities

Can renters afford to buy a home in San Antonio? Not really.

Can renters afford to buy a home in San Antonio? Not really.

Canyon Lake Home for Sale San Antonio House
Though many San Antonians want to buy a house, few can afford to do so. Photo courtesy of Zillow

For many, the traditional "American dream" includes buying a home. In San Antonio, that dream is dissipating, as recent reports show that most local renters don't have the means to make the jump to home ownership.

Zillow released its latest rental analysis and placed San Antonio squarely on its list of markets with the lowest share of renters qualified to buy — the 15th worst, to be precise. The median home price here is $152,300, but only 10 percent of renters have the income and credit score necessary to afford that. Overall, around 61 percent of people in San Antonio own homes.

The news is even worse for Houston, which wins the dubious award of least qualified city. Only 6.8 percent of renters can take a stab at securing a median $172,900 home. Dallas is the fourth worst qualified city; only 8.2 percent of renters are qualified to secure a median $189,000 home.

Austin is the lone bright spot in Texas, claiming No. 15 on the list of the highest share of renters who can afford to buy. Nearly 13 percent of on-market renters have sufficient credit scores and income to afford the median home in Austin, which runs about $252,900.

Apartment rental website Zumper confirms this, singling out Austin as the place where the gap is smallest between desire to own a home and buyers' ability. It conducted a survey of more than 6,000 of its users and found that while 94.3 percent of Austinites want to buy, 72.1 percent can afford a mortgage within the city proper.

In Houston, the wish is there for 94.5 percent of Zumper users, but only 59.7 percent say they can actually make it a reality. The good news is that the figures are much, much better in Texas than in, say, San Diego, where 91.5 percent want to become homeowners, but only 20 percent think they can.