Marylanders think housing costs are too high, housing options are limited and people of color face significant challenges when searching for quality, affordable housing, according to a poll conducted by American Strategies for Maryland REALTORS.

As part of Maryland REALTORS’ “Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods” campaign, which is examining ways to increase housing opportunity and housing equity for all Marylanders, the association sought to discover how Marylanders feel on a variety of housing-related issues.

Some of the findings include:

  • 57 percent say that the cost to buy a home in their part of Maryland is too high; 61 percent say the cost to rent an apartment in their part of Maryland is too high.
  • One-in-five households are either very worried or somewhat worried about missing a rent or mortgage payment in the next three months.
  • Most voters believe people of color face significant challenges when finding quality, affordable housing.
  • Two-thirds feel there is too little housing available for people with low incomes; 62 percent say there is too little housing for younger people and those just getting started in their careers.
  • Marylanders see “huge obstacles” to homeownership including having a job but not making enough to afford a home (56 percent); having too much debt from student loans (55 percent); having enough money for down payment and closing costs (54 percent) and having too much credit card or consumer debt (48 percent).

“The results from this poll confirm what we’ve seen and heard with regard to the struggles people are facing with housing opportunity,” said Dee Dee Miller, 2021 Maryland REALTORS president. “In January 2021, the average price for a home in Maryland was more than $387,000, and that makes it tough for most first-time homebuyers and people with lower incomes to buy a home. We have long recognized that one of the best ways to reduce the wealth gap among populations is through homeownership. If the bar to entry remains too high, this wealth gap will persist and even grow larger.”