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In today’s market it’s hard to find more homes than love

(Bloomberg)—Think dating is hard? Finding a home to buy is proving to be even more difficult for Americans, according to a new survey by Zillow.

More than a third of people who recently relocated said buying a home is harder than finding a life partner in today’s wildly competitive market, a nationally representative survey showed.

The bidding wars, low inventories and steep price hikes over the past two years have turned into an ordeal for many home hunters. A rite of passage into adulthood and a core tenet of the “American Dream” has turned into a conflict, putting home ownership out of reach of buyers without significant financial means.

The number of available homes has shrunk over the past year as ultra-low mortgage rates and the shift to remote working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have fueled the demand for homes in smaller towns. Active listings fell 19% year-over-year in December to an all-time low, while prices rose 15% to an average of $382,900. Homes priced between $800,000 and $1 million are seeing the highest rates of bidding wars in the market, followed by battles between $1 million and $1.5 million.

But for those chasing virtual apps, ghosting and social media, which are now an intrinsic part of dating, finding a home may bring some relief by comparison. In a sign of how challenging dating can be, over 60% of women said that shopping for a home is more enjoyable than attempting to find romance, compared to 39% of men.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed also said that it is harder to meet their wish list of qualities in a partner than a list of desired features in a home. But a similar ratio is more willing to compromise on those desires in the household than a partner.

To find that perfect home or partner, people are willing to move. Over 80% of respondents said they would consider moving to buy a home, and 60% might pack their bags to improve their dating prospects.

The good news is that 80% said they love their current homes. A figure for happy people in their romantic relationships was not included.

To contact the author of this story: Claire Ballantyne in New York [email protected]

© 2022 Bloomberg LP

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