What Homebuyers are Waiting For…

by Kim Mantz

Most homeowners are content with their purchase.
In a recent Bank of America survey, 95 percent of current homeowners reported that they feel proud of owning their home.
And it looks like there may be more happy owners in the future soon. Twenty-five percent of prospective buyers said they plan to purchase in the next two years. The majority (61 percent) are delaying purchasing to pay off bills and debts, while 47 percent are striving to improve their credit score. Forty-five percent are saving for a new home, while 39 percent are saving for retirement. Nearly one-third are still paying off student loans, while 28 percent are saving for their child’s education. However, 35 percent of buyers have started saving for a down payment, and 75 percent said their savings would pay for their down payment. Most aspiring buyers are not sure how much they have to put down for a down payment. Thirty-one percent said 10 percent, while 29 percent said 20 percent, and 15 percent said more than 20 percent.
So, what leads prospective homebuyers to become home buyers? According to the majority (52 percent), it’s having the financial means. Forty percent are ready to have their own place, while 35 percent want a reliable job with steady income.
For those who do already own, across all generations, 36 percent believe their current home is a stepping stone to their dream home. To 68 percent of millennials, that’s their plan.
About one-third of owners said that their home’s value is determined by how much they spent to purchase it. Ninety-one percent reported that they treasure the memories made there.
Homeownership has a positive impact on their long-term financial picture, according to 79 percent of millennials surveyed. For first-time buyers across generations, 72 percent believe that is true. Eighty-six percent of millennials believe buying a home is more affordable than renting, compared to 54 percent of first-time homebuyers of all generations.
With that being said, According to the fourth annual housing survey from Neighbor Works, more adults are struggling with their student loans, making homeownership more of a dream than a reality.
In 2016, 30 percent of respondents said they know someone whose student loans were delaying them from purchasing a home, up from 28 percent in 2015, and 24 percent in 2014. More than half of respondents this year (53 percent) said their student loans are at least somewhat of an obstacle to purchasing a home, down from 57 percent last year, but an increase from 49 percent in 2014.
Affordability continues to be an issue, as only 45 percent of respondents said their community is affordable for first-time homebuyers, but 56 percent believe that rent prices are too costly for someone to save enough to purchase a home.
Additionally, more than half of respondents said that they believed home buying is complicated, down 3 percent from 70 percent last year.
However, the positive outlook on home ownership has been growing for minorities, which are the fastest-growing segment of homebuyers, according to the survey. This year, 14 percent of African Americans, along with 12 percent of Hispanics said that homeownership is the most important part of their “American Dream,” compared to only 9 percent of whites. Last year, 16 percent of African Americans, 10 percent of Hispanics and 8 percent of whites reported that homeownership was the most important part of the “American Dream.” However, 52 percent of minorities reported that rent in their area is too high to save for a home, once again, delaying them from purchasing.

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