The housing climate has swayed back and forth dramatically in the winds of the pandemic, but one thing hasn’t changed – Americans still value homeownership.
A new survey by RE/MAX LLC revealed that consumer sentiment is still strong towards buying a house, even if the process is a little more challenging these days.
Nick Bailey, CEO and president of RE/MAX LLC spoke to Livabl earlier this year about what drives homeownership. Here’s what he had to say:
“Regardless of the macro environment, the numbers, inflation, rates and all of that, there’s something that happens every year – people buy and sell houses,” he said. “It’s driven by life events. People get married, have children, divorce, move for family, jobs, etc. And I think that gets lost within the industry a lot, because I think most people look at the market from an investor angle versus a true ‘What drives homeownership?’ angle. For over 90% of people, it’s really life events.”
The demand for housing continues to be strong across the nation, with 68% of survey respondents planning to buy a house or condo over the next few years. Fifty-three percent are so hell-bent on purchasing a home, they’ve expedited their homebuying plans based on the current market conditions.
The majority of these determined consumers fall into Gen Z. Notably, more men (81%) than women (59%) were planning to buy a home in the next few years.
While the national market continues to balance itself in the last few months of 2022, local markets that are trending hot still pose a challenge for some buyers.
Prospective buyers in the Northwest were most likely to expedite their plans to buy a home based on market conditions, and more than half of homebuyers in the Southwest reported that market conditions delayed their plans to purchase a home.
But what about sellers?
A shortage of inventory, historically low rates and strong demand helped drive the seller’s market that we grew accustomed to during the pandemic. Today, it’s a bit of a different picture. As rates continue to rise and prices decline, sellers who may have been hesitant to sell have quickly changed their minds.
Fifty-three percent of respondents who planned to sell their house in the next few years reported that market conditions motivated them to sell their homes sooner than they planned.
But along with shifting post-pandemic market conditions, shifting cultural conditions are also driving migration patterns. As large portions of the American workforce head back to the office, proximity to work is one of the top motivators for selling. Moving closer to family and locations with better weather are also top priorities for sellers.