No. 1: High Unemployment
Without a job, you can't buy a home. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.2% in March, but underemployment is above 20% in California and Florida.
No. 3: Shadow Inventory
Nearly four million Americans are at least 90 days late paying their mortgage or are in the process of foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Services.
No. 4: Stagnant Incomes
Median incomes fell 7% from 2000 to 2010, according to the Census Bureau. Homebuyers typically are not supposed to spend more than four times their average income buying a home.
No. 5: Tight Underwriting Standards
The average homebuyer in March had a credit score more than 100 points above the 620 to 640 minimum for a conventional loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie.