Whopping 78% of aspiring homeowners say they can’t afford the American dream

Owning a home has long been considered the definition of the American dream, but the dream is becoming more and more out of reach.

A housing affordability crisis in the U.S. continues to escalate with no end in sight.

A new survey released by Bankrate found that, while an overwhelming majority of Americans agreed homeownership was the most common American Dream, a whopping 78% of aspiring homeowners said they can’t afford it. 

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Of those surveyed, 78% said they consider homeownership a key component of the American dream. 

Americans placed a higher value on it than on any other indicator of economic stability, including a comfortable retirement, a successful career or a college degree.

But the vast majority of aspiring homeowners in the U.S. say they also simply cannot afford it.

The most common challenges cited by respondents were insufficient income (56%), followed by home prices being too high (47%) and the inability to afford down payments and closing costs (42%).

"Owning a home is still the centerpiece of the American dream, but affordability is the main obstacle to making that a reality," says Greg McBride CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. 

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Bankrate's survey found that nearly seven in 10 Americans said they were willing to take at least one step necessary to find affordable housing.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they could downsize their living space, while 34% said they would either move out of state or buy a fixer-upper.

As mortgage rates topped 7% last week for the first time this year, a separate report from Redfin found that the combination of steep mortgage rates and elevated home prices has pushed the median monthly housing payment to a new record of $2,775, an 11% increase from the same time last year.

This story was reported from Detroit. FOX Business contributed.