Not so long ago, if you conceived a picture of new homeowners in Greater Boston, you may have thought of Eric and Anna Basile.
Eric, a software engineer, and Anna, a biotech worker, both earn six-figure salaries. They’re in their early 30s, prime home-buying age, and have spent the last few years bouncing among rental apartments, most recently a two-bedroom in Arlington that has begun to feel crowded.
They want dogs, and envision having children someday, and right now they have room for neither. And so last year, with a sizable nest egg saved up, they began to hunt for a house — preferably a four-bedroom within commuting range of Boston, for no more than $800,000.
They have had, as Eric puts it, bad luck “at every possible turn,” leaving them with little choice but to re-up their lease in Arlington for another full year.
“We want to move on with our lives,” said Anna. “We have the means that we think should be sufficient to make this work.”
But the Basiles — like countless other home buyers who are balking at a cooling housing market right now — cannot. And while that’s bad news for them, it may actually spell the latest blow in what has been a nightmare two years for renters: Apartments have never cost more and supply is near historic lows. Add more people trapped in their rentals, and it only gets harder for everyone to find — or afford — someplace to live.
“We’re already in a situation where we have so little supply that rents don’t really have any room to fall,” said Demetrios Salpoglou, chief executive of BostonPads, which tracks rental prices in Boston. “Then you add this additional demand from people priced out of the housing market. It’s not a promising picture.”