Photo: PT Money
Do you believe buying a home is a sound financial decision? If so, you’re part of the majority in America, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey.
Over 80 per cent of survey respondents expressed that opinion to American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services, the firms that conducted the poll on behalf of NAR.
Furthermore, 68 percent of those surveyed felt that now is a good time to take the plunge into homeownership and 71 percent were of the belief that they could sell their home for what they paid for it. The latter marks a 16 per cent jump in confidence compared to what polsters observed in 2013 during the last survey.
“Homeownership is part of the American Dream, and this survey proves that dream is alive and thriving in our communities,” said Chris Polychron, NAR’s president, in a statement released last week.
Why does homeownership matter to respondents? Equity, stability and the freedom to live where they want were among the answers, according to NAR. These were relatively consistent with the responses received in recent years, the association, which represents over 1.1 million members, noted.
The National Housing Pulse Survey is based on a telephone poll of 1,000 adults living in the 50 biggest metro areas in America and supplemented with 250 interviews with respondents born after 1981.
Of current renters who took the survey, 39 percent said they were thinking about buying a home, up 3 percent from 2013, and 61 percent cited homeownership as a future priority.
The increase in aspiring homeowners comes at a time when the overall outlook towards the American housing market is improving, according to NAR.
This year, only 15 percent of respondents said foreclosure was a “major concern.” Meanwhile, 49 percent perceive real estate activity to be up this year, an improvement of 5 percent from 2013 and 37 percent from 2011. Locally, the perception is also positive; some 89 per cent of those polled forecast transactions to increase or stay stable in their area.
However, there were widespread concerns, too. In particular, 78 per cent said the debt they racked up paying for their education was the single biggest financial factor holding them back from buying a home. This was especially true for Millennials, with 86 percent of them listing this debt as inhibiting their goals of owning a home.
Housing affordability was also a concern that popped up. Pollsters found two thirds of respondents thought houses were more expensive this year, with 60 percent worried about high home prices. As well, 41 percent were concerned to some degree about a shortage of affordable housing in their area, a 9 percent jump from what was observed in 2013. Rising rents were also seen as a problem, according to 65 percent of the people who took part in the survey.
Although the survey suggests owning a home is a goal for many, those who do own homes weren’t without issue, and more than half cited their investment as stretching their budgets.
Check out NAR’s full infographic showing highlights from the full survey.