Prudential Real Estate’s Q1 Consumer Outlook Survey, conducted in February 2013, showed that Americans’ sentiment toward real estate is growing increasingly favorable. Buyers and sellers alike said they are motivated for the spring buying season, attracted by low mortgage rates, attractive home prices and other factors. Here are key survey findings:
MARKET ON THE MEND
- 77% of consumers feel confident about the housing market and property value recovery; a 4 point improvement from our year-end results and a 7 point increase over the same period a year ago.
- This confidence is exceptionally high among Millennials (80%) and Generation X (79%) and in recovering residential real estate markets like the South (81%) and West (79%).
- Favorability of the U.S. real estate market also has increased to 65%, its highest level in a year.
- However, Americans are cautious and 42% of those surveyed believe the housing recovery will be slow.
- Ultimately, owning a home is still important to 96% of Americans and exceptionally important to Millennials (97%), Generation X (98%) and women (78%).
- For those who’ve been watching market fluctuations in recent years, 74% of respondents say that interest rates are historically low and 87% say the time to buy is now while mortgage rates and average home prices are attractive.
SPRING BUYING SEASON
- Finding a good deal in a home (80%) and job stability (59%) are the most important factors for prospective homebuyers this spring.
- Respondents who feel it will be easier to buy a home this spring feel that way because market conditions are right and “homeowners want to sell.”
- Prospective buyers are motivated; 48% of respondents said they are willing to explore neighborhoods they hadn’t previously considered to find their home.
- Prospective home-sellers indicated that “finding the right house to buy first” and “making a profit” were the primary reasons they would list their homes this spring.
- 87% of sellers are committed to seeing a sale through if their home doesn’t sell quickly.
- 62% of sellers are willing to make repairs or redecorate in order to attract more interest in their properties.
- “Contemplators” are defined as those who have considered buying or selling real estate in the past year but didn’t. Contemplator confidence in the real estate market and property values continues to rise with a 12 point increase from mid-2012.
- Additionally, contemplator favorability of the real estate market has jumped 10 percentage points since mid-2012.
- Primary reasons why contemplators haven’t made a move include “waiting for the right opportunity” and “haven’t found the right home.”