Survey Reveals Downpayment, Closing Costs Still Greatest Obstacles to Homeownership, NAR Survey Shows
(article republished from www.Realtor.org)
NAR’s seventh pulse survey reveals that despite improved affordability conditions, eight in 10 Americans still consider having enough money for downpayment and closing costs to be the biggest obstacle to buying a home.
The survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers, also found job security concerns to be the highest in seven years of sampling. Two-thirds of Americans think job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem; eight in 10 cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.
The telephone survey of 1,250 urban and suburban adults in the top 25 metropolitan statistical areas was conducted for NAR by by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program.
Some key results include:
- Eight in 10 Americans (82 percent) still consider having enough money for downpayment and closing costs to be the biggest obstacle to buying a home.
- Two-thirds of Americans think job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem; 83 percent cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.
- 83 percent of Americans still believe buying a home is a good financial decision.
- Three-fourths of those surveyed also believe now is a good time to buy a home, a number that has increased steadily the past two years.
- The number of those who feel buying and selling activity has stabilized or stayed nearly the same has grown significantly, up more than 44 percent since last year.
- The majority (58 percent) report that activity in their market has slowed.
- Regarding home sales, nearly eight in 10 say it’s harder to sell a home in their area today than it was a year ago, despite the fact that nearly three-fourths of respondents say home prices are less expensive.
- Foreclosures remain a real concern among survey respondents. Slightly more than half (51 percent) say foreclosures are a big to moderate problem in their area.
- The rate of foreclosures is generally seen as stabilizing; 41 percent say the rate of foreclosures in their area is about the same as last year.
- Ninety-two percent of respondents said neither they nor members of their immediate family have experienced a foreclosure in the past year, yet it is still a personal concern for many. One in five respondents said they are very or fairly worried that they will have difficulty making their mortgage payments over the next year.
- Thirty-two percent say it’s a big or moderate worry that they, or a member of their family, may have their home repossessed or foreclosed because they are unable to pay rising monthly mortgage payments.
- In 2008, more than half of respondents (54 percent) were open to the federal government taking a more active role in overseeing mortgage and lending practices – the number dropped this year to 47 percent.
- Forty-two percent of Americans believe the country is back on the right track, more than double the number last year (16 percent).
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