Renters Admit They Favor Home Ownership

Seventy-two percent of renters “prefer” or “strongly prefer” to own a home rather than rent one, according to the latest SCE Housing Survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Nearly 56 percent of renters view homeownership as a “good investment,” the survey finds.

The majority of renters favor homeownership, despite expressing concerns about their ability to one day afford a home. However, they do believe it’s getting easier to qualify for a mortgage. Sixty-five percent of renters say qualifying for a mortgage is “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult,” but that is gradually declining. Twenty percent of renters view qualifying for a mortgage as “somewhat easy” or “very easy,” which is up from 15 percent in 2015.

Source: “Home Price Growth Expectations to Increase: Renters Perceive Easier Access to Mortgage Credit,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York (May 11, 2017)

High Rents, Low Rates = ‘Top Draws to Owning’

Sixty-two percent of potential home buyers say that now is a better time to purchase a home than it was a year ago, according to Chase’s new national survey, “Insights From the Mind of the Homebuyer.” The top reasons that are motivating more Americans to get off the fence are rising rental costs and historically low interest rates, the survey found.

Thirty-two percent of more than 1,000 consumers surveyed say they want to buy soon in order to take advantage of low rates. What’s more, 35 percent say that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rising above 4 percent would delay their decision to buy.

Twenty percent of consumers surveyed say that the rising cost of rent is making home ownership look like a better value and is the top reason why they want to buy. Also, 20 percent of those surveyed say that their desire to make an upgrade from their current home was their top motivation for buying.

Nearly 70 percent say they are worried they may have already missed the best time to buy because of rising home prices. Three out of four home buyers say they’re concerned their offer will be outbid by others, and three in five say they think they’ll need to buy a smaller home or consider other neighborhoods outside of their top choices because of rising prices, the survey finds.

Source: Chase

A Growth in ‘Counseling for Home Buyers’

Before becoming home owners, some buyers are undergoing counseling first. A new survey shows a rising number of Americans are taking housing counseling courses, which could be a sign that more educated, prepared first-time buyers are ready to step off the sidelines in the coming months.

More than 73,000 people received housing counseling from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling member agencies during 2014, the highest in past five years.

Housing counseling may help some buyers even save money by learning the process, McClary says. A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau survey showed that 47 percent of home buyers do not compare lenders when shopping for a mortgage – which means they may not be getting the best rates. Potential buyers who undergo housing counseling are more likely to review multiple mortgage offers and find possible savings.

Source: “New Trend Shows Positive Signs for Homebuyers,” RISMedia (March 16, 2015)

“Low-ball Offers” a Thing of the Past?

Last year, some of us complained about receiving really low offers on listed homes. Offers usually submitted by the buyer for 25 percent or more below the list price, according to a recent  National Association of REALTORS® survey of its members. That number has dropped by about the same percentage in our local market area.

According to a survey this March of 4,500 agents and brokers, no REALTORS® complained about low-ball offers. The main problem nowadays: The sudden drop in inventory of for-sale homes has led to fewer homes available to sell.

For home buyers who still think they have a chance of hitting it lucky with a low-ball offer, they’re finding in many markets that their offers are more often being rejected or countered closer to the original asking price, the Los Angeles Times reports. Please comment, is your local market reflecting similar changes?

Source: “Low-ball Offers Decline in Some Housing Markets,” Los Angeles Times (4/22/12)

Home Owners plan “Remodeling Projects”

Waiting a few years to sell? Make a few changes for your desires?  Many home owners are opting to tackle improvement projects around the house, according to a new survey of 1,500 adults by American Express Spending and Saving Tracker.

Seventy percent of home owners surveyed say they intend to take on a home improvement project this year, and they plan to spend about $3,500 on sprucing up their home, according to the survey. That’s an increase of about $100 compared to last year.

The projects will primarily concentrate on the indoors, according to the survey. More than one-third of those polled say they are devoting some of that budget to home accessories, such as throw pillows, or on appliances and new furniture.

The top home project they have lined up? Painting, which 37 percent of those surveyed say they plan to do this year. Twenty-four percent said they will do landscaping projects. These could be improvements or upgrades to increase value for a future sale?

Also, more home owners this year compared to last year say they’re going the do-it-yourself route, with plans to refurbish their houses themselves rather than hiring a professional to do it. In the survey, 43 percent of owners say they’ve been inspired to tackle home projects themselves by watching design shows on television, followed by seeing in-store displays or from viewing online design and do-it-yourself Web sites.

Source: “Home Decision 2012: Improving or Moving?” American Express (3/12)

“Renters Want to Buy”

Two-thirds of renters — across educational and demographic levels — say they want to purchase a home in the future, according to a quarterly national housing survey of 3,000 Americans conducted by Fannie Mae. But they’re spooked about the mortgage process.

“In spite of the impact of the housing crisis on home values and home ownership rates across the country, Americans by and large still hope to become home owners,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Some may not be financially positioned to own a home in the near future, but Americans may begin to revisit that aspiration as employment and household balance sheets improve over the coming years.”

Realtors ease the homebuying process of qualifying and navigating the mortgage process. Coordinating and informing buyers about financing their home is the key!   

“If potential home owners avoid the process because they believe it to be too complex, we will likely see a continued impact on home ownership rates,” Duncan says.

Source: “Fannie Mae Finds Americans Remain Committed to Homeownership,” HousingWire (3/27/12)