Childcare costs undermine middle-class housing aspirations

NEW YORK – July 5, 2017 – According to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, 40 percent of upper-middle class parents surveyed rely on extended family for childcare, compared to only 29 percent of low-income parents and 33 percent of high-income parents.
As a result, commercial childcare costs make it difficult for some families to achieve homeownership, especially given that incomes rose only 2.6 percent over the past year and home values climbed more than 7 percent.
Commercial childcare costs up to $21,000 annually, but some families may not earn enough at a full- or part-time job to cover the costs of childcare, and it makes financial sense to have a stay-at-home parent. However, families in the middle – often with two working parents making moderate incomes – can can’t afford to send their kids to childcare and can’t afford to have one parent to stay home.
“Housing costs and child care are among the two largest budget items for working families, costing as much $43,000 a year in urban areas and over $34,000 a year in the suburbs,” says Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “While many Americans are tied to the places they live for a variety of personal and financial reasons, it’s necessary for some households to live near family in order to make ends meet. Sometimes extended family might move together to provide childcare, or grandparents might even follow their children when they move to a new city to help care for their grandkids.”
According to the survey, around 26 percent of those polled said proximity to family drives their decision about where to live.
Source: RealtyBizNews (06/19/17) Wheatley, Mike