By Peter Ricci
Consumer sentiment towards the housing market has been gradually improving in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Surveys, and a new FindLaw survey has found that the situation is improving other notable ways.
According to the FindLaw survey, which sampled 1,000 American adults, the percentage of Americans who reported sitting on the sidelines and avoiding the homebuying process has dropped by more than half from 2010 to 2012, falling from 63 percent to 30 percent.
FindLaw Survey – Americans Encouraged by Housing Market
In addition, the FindLaw survey also found:
- With housing prices at affordable levels and mortgage rates at record lows, the number of respondents who said that economic conditions motivated them to buy a house increased by 38 percent.
- Also, less respondents said that the economy was playing a negative factor in their homebuying decisions, with 49 percent reporting that the economy had no impact on their decision.
Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw (which is a Thomson Reuters company), said the FindLaw survey results were especially encouraging among higher-earning individuals.
“Among middle and upper income levels, we’re seeing a significant rise in people saying the current economy is making them more likely to enter the housing market,” Rahlfs said. “This may be due to some combination of historically low mortgage rates, housing prices that – although rebounding – are still relatively low and people perhaps feeling more optimistic about the economy in general.”
Homebuyer Engagement in Housing
Ofelia McDonald, an agent with John Daugherty in Houston, said that she has observed a much higher level of engagement in her prospective homebuyers in recent months, particularly with the specific information they research before seeing certain properties.
“Buyers are very knowledgable, and they really do their homework,” McDonald said. “[They research] pricing, trends and walkability, and they come to the table with a lot of information.”