Trulia’s latest American Dream survey reveals consumer optimism about homeownership is rebounding as the housing market recovers, even among young adults who were often pegged as renters for life during the recession. Meanwhile, rising prices will encourage some homeowners to sell in 2013.
Trulia’s year-end 2012 American Dream survey reveals how today’s consumers are more optimistic about the housing market and more ready to buy. For Millennials, the recent housing bust shapes their near-term expectations about the market in general, but nearly all young renters want to buy in the long run. Going into 2013, consumers expect inventory to expand, and it looks like that will happen so long as prices keep rising: as price gains push more homeowners into positive equity, more will be willing to sell.
To get Americans’ take on homeownership, we worked with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,083 U.S. adults between November 15-19, 2012. For the full methodology, see below.
As 2012 wraps up, the housing market is looking up on all fronts. It was the first year since 2006 in which home prices will have increased. In addition, construction and sales are both significantly up from their lowest point during the housing crisis, and vacancies, delinquencies, and foreclosures have all come down. Key for the housing market, job growth has picked up, and unemployment has fallen to 7.7% from 8.2% six months ago and 9.8% two years ago. These trends all give consumers more buying power and more confidence in the economy.
As a result, consumers are increasingly bullish on buying homes. More than 1 in 4 Americans (27%) are more positive about homeownership than they were six months ago, compared with 19% who reported feeling more negative about homeownership. That translates into more renters being eager to buy in the next two years:
% of renters planning to buy in next two years
But homeownership still has its skeptics. In November, 72% of consumers said that homeownership is part of their personal “American Dream.” That’s unchanged since May and up a bit from 2011, when 70% of consumers said so in our January and August surveys. But fewer consumers today believe in homeownership than in 2009 and 2010, when 76% and 77% (respectively) agreed. Will this sentiment bounce back, or has the housing crisis permanently taken the dream of homeownership down a notch? Only time will tell.
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed
“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”