More than 75 percent of homeowners would buy a single-family home if they were moving in the next three months, according to a new survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Moreover, a massive 79 percent of people who are renting would purchase a property outside of an urban area.
The NAR carried out the research in their quarterly consumer survey, which also revealed that the number of renters who feel confident buying a property has decreased, especially in the western states where house prices have improved.
In the Housing Opportunity and Market Experience survey (or HOME, for short), people were asked questions about the state of the economy and the housing market. The research provided interesting results about how homeowners and renters perceive the market, and whether they would move home in the near future.
The study found there was a demand for single-family homes outside of urban areas. In fact, 85 percent of homeowners and 75 percent of renters agreed they would buy a single-family home in the suburbs. 21 percent of renters and 15 percent of homeowners revealed they preferred the opposite and would rather purchase a property in an urban area.
HOME found that a person’s location and lifestyle would typically influence their response to questions in the survey. For example, younger people were more likely to consider a single-family home, while older respondents preferred smaller homes. Those who were aged over 65 were more likely to consider buying a condo, while those under the age of 35 would think about buying a house in an urban area.
One of the most interesting details in the HOME survey is how renters have lost confidence in the housing market, and how fewer people think that now is a good time to invest in a home. Compared to the previous quarter, fewer renters thought that now was the right time to buy a home (62 percent of people questioned in the new survey compared to 68 percent in the previous quarter). However, when it came to homeowners, the same number of people thought that it was the right time to buy (85 percent of those questioned in the survey, the same number as the previous quarter).
So, what about selling a home?
Well, according to HOME, 56 percent of homeowners thought it was a good time to sell their property, down from the 61 percent who said the same in the previous quarter. People who lived in the western states were more likely to think now is the right time to sell a home; however, fewer thought it was an excellent opportunity to buy.
This could be, in part, due to rising real estate prices in this section of the country, which makes it difficult for first-time buyers to secure a footing on the property ladder. When asked about the economy in general, less than half of the people questioned believe that things are improving, down from the previous quarter (48 percent compared to 50 percent). However, those who lived in urban areas, people with lower incomes, and people who were renting a property were more likely to say that the economy was on the up.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the survey findings call attention to the glaring need for more supply of single-family homes. “The American Dream for most consumers is not a cramped, 500-square-foot condo in the middle of the city, but instead a larger home within close proximity to the jobs and entertainment an urban area provides,” he said. “While this is not a new discovery, supply and demand imbalances and unhealthy levels of price growth in several metro areas have made buying an affordable home an onerous task for far too many first-time buyers and middle-class families.”