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What Do Home Buyers Really Want?

News | 14th Aug 2012

The latest survey held by showed that consumer optimism is growing really fast. Future homebuyers are hoping that home prices will get higher; they are seriously thinking about buying and they are currently searching for bigger homes. The survey was conducted on 2,230 U.S. adults in June and 2,205 adults in May.

At the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, Americans were searching for smaller homes to match their budgets. It seems that this aspect is changing. A couple of months ago, the housing market news were rather encouraging and they revealed that bigger homes are making their comeback. These days, 27% of the citizens declare that the perfect home for them has more than 2,600 square feet. In 2011, there were only 17% people thinking this way.

Super-sized houses are even more interesting for homebuyers. These houses measure more than 3,200 square feet. In 2011, only 6% of Americans wanted a super–sized property. Now, 11% of them say they are willing to buy such a residence. Census revealed that the new–home builders are taking advantage of this appetite for size. Thus, an average home constructed now has 2,480 square feet as compared to 2,392 square feet back in 2010.

Not all individuals who want a super–sized home are able to actually buy one. New homes are bigger; still, the inventory of homes for sale includes foreclosures and existing homes that are small. Just 22% of the homes on sale are as big as 2,600 square feet. The percentage of those who want such houses is 27%. Most of the properties that are on the market measure between 800 and 2,000 square feet. This signifies that the people must give up their dreams. Future homebuyers are also thinking about luxurious amenities such as a gourmet kitchen, a walk in closet and a master bathroom. Most buyers couldn’t find these features in their previous homes. Another need is represented by wood floors. 47% of the buyers want that feature in their houses.

So, renters are willing to invest, but the question is if they can actually buy? The homeownership rate is down, but increasingly more renters want to buy a home. The ever rising rents, the low interest rates and the job growth are some of the factors that have determined renters to purchase their own property. 78% of the renters are dreaming of getting a home. In 2011, the percentage was 6% down. However, there are numerous obstacles. 25% of the respondents said that they might not get the mortgage, 32% declared that they have poor credit history and this might be an impediment, and 47% think they are not able to accomplish the down payment. The will to buy is most of the times destroyed by the actual market factors.

61% of citizens consider that home prices will increase in the following 12 months. Still, 58% of them think that prices will be as high as they were before the crisis. This situation is mostly seen in regions like Pittsburgh and Dallas, where the prices were high even during the crisis. Despite this fact, residents of Las Vegas and Detroit, where prices were lower, are more optimistic about the price increases. Individuals who live in metropolitan areas with impressive price drops are reasonable to think this way.

These metro spots have become a hot spot for those wanting a new home. It’s crucial to dream big. This optimism is supported by housing indicators. For example, foreclosures and the defaults are improving. This is important for the real estate market recovery. However, too much optimism can lead to another bubble, so it’s important to be realistic at the same time.

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