HOME Survey: Economic and Financial Outlook, Attitudes About Home Buying and Selling on the Rise

Washington, D.C. – September 25, 2017 (nar.realtor) Existing-homes sales have retreated in four of the past five months, but new survey findings from the National Association of Realtors® indicate it is not because of a lack of confidence from consumers about buying and selling a home, or based on their views about the direction of the economy and their finances.

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That’s according to NAR’s third quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey(1) , which also found that two-thirds of households think saving for a down payment is challenging, and roughly half of renters expect to pay more in rent next year.

This quarter, there appears to be a revival from renters that now is a good time to buy a home. After dipping to roughly half of renters last quarter (52 percent), the share who believe now is a good time climbed to 62 percent (60 percent a year ago). Overall, current homeowners (80 percent), households with higher incomes and those living in the more affordable Midwest and South regions are the most optimistic about buying right now.

Amidst the steady gains in home values seen in many parts of the country, the share of homeowners that believe now is a good time to sell is also inching higher. Eighty percent of homeowners think now is a good time to list their home for sale (a new survey high), which is up from last quarter (75 percent) and even more so than a year ago (67 percent).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it is great news that homebuyer and seller optimism is advancing, but it remains unclear if it will actually translate to more sales. “The housing market has been in a funk since early spring because of the ongoing scarcity of new and existing homes for sale,” he said. “The pace of new home construction has not meaningfully broken out this year, and not enough homeowners at this point have followed through with their belief that now is a good time to sell. As a result, home shoppers have seen limited options, stiff competition and weakening affordability conditions.”

Added Yun, “Buyer demand is robust this fall, but the disappointing reality is that sales will continue to undershoot their full potential until supply levels significantly improve.”

Economic and financial outlook brightens

More households this quarter (57 percent) believe the economy is improving compared to the second quarter (54 percent) and a year ago (48 percent). Continuing the complete reversal from a year ago, those living in rural and suburban areas were more optimistic about the economy than respondents residing in urban areas. A majority of homeowners and those with incomes above $50,000 also had a positive outlook on the economy.

The rebound in economic confidence this quarter are also giving households increased assurances about their financial situation. The HOME survey’s monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index2, showing respondents’ confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, jumped from 57.2 in June to 62.0 in September. A year ago, the index was 58.6.

“Jobs are plentiful, wage growth is finally showing signs of life, home values are up considerably in the past five years and the stock market is at record highs,” said Yun. “The economy is not perfect, and growth overall is still sluggish, but the financial health of the typical household looks as healthy as it has since the recession.”

Most renters likely to continue renting – even if their rent increases

This quarter, non-homeowners were asked if they expect their rent to increase over the next year, and given their current financial situation, what impact paying more in rent would have on their living arrangements.

Roughly half of current renters expect to pay more in rent next year (51 percent). If in fact their rent does increase, most will either resign their lease anyway (42 percent) or move to a cheaper rental. Only 15 percent of respondents will consider buying a home.

“Even though the typical down payment of a first-time buyer has been 6 percent for three straight years, two-thirds of respondents indicated that saving for one is difficult right now,” said Yun. “Rents and home prices have outpaced incomes in the past few years, and this is undoubtedly impacting their ability to put aside savings for a home purchase, even if they increasingly believe it’s a good time to buy. Heading into next year, higher home prices and limited inventory in the affordable price range will likely continue to hold back a share of renters who would prefer to be homeowners.”

About NAR’s HOME survey
In July through early September, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including a mix of cell phones and land lines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report and a total of 2,709 household responses are represented.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

1. NAR’s Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey tracks topical real estate trends, including current renters and homeowners’ views and aspirations regarding homeownership, whether or not it’s a good time to buy or sell a home, and expectations and experiences in the mortgage market. New questions are added to the survey each quarter to reflect timely topics impacting real estate.

HOME survey data is collected on a monthly basis and will be reported each quarter. New questions will be added to the survey each quarter to reflect timely topics impacting the real estate marketplace. The next release is scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

2. Index ranges between 0 and 100: 0 = all respondents believe their personal financial situation will be worse in 6 months; 50 = all respondents believe their personal financial situation will be about the same in 6 months; 100 = all respondents believe their personal situation will be better in 6 months.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

SURVEY: Nearly 63% of Moms Say Their Adult Children Are Unprepared To Live On Their Own, Over One-Third Unwilling or Unable To Pitch In Financially

This Mother’s Day finds moms anxious about affordable housing for themselves and their families

Washington, D.C. – May 4th, 2017 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) This Mother’s Day, adult children living with their parents might consider moving out as a gift to mom, if they’re financially prepared to do so. According to a new survey of 1000 mothers by The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of service-enriched affordable housing, many are concerned about the ability of their adult children to live on their own. Nearly a third (29.86%) of the moms queried are anxious about their grown children needing to stay with them for an extended period of time. Here’s a look at what else concerns today’s moms.

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Failure to launch?

Nearly 63% of moms say their adult children are not fully prepared to live on their own.

Only 30% of moms say that their adult children who live with them are actively looking for other places to live, and less than half (41%) say their kids pay rent. On the bright side, 67 % of the adult children help around the house, and 65% of them are employed.

The mom cohort is very aware that their grown children don’t have it easy. Ninety percent are concerned about rising housing costs, with 43% saying they are “very concerned” on their kids’ behalf. And nearly 40% of moms worry at least once a day about their adult children’s ability to afford desirable housing.

Yet, some moms are either unwilling or unable to offer financial help once the kids do move out. Only one-third of moms would co-sign a loan for their children, and even fewer (24%) would help subsidize rent or a mortgage. Nearly 36% say they aren’t prepared to help their adult children financially in any way.

Moms rule the roost

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed make family financial decisions either alone or with “some input” from a partner.

These moms operate as family CFOs, taking a more active role in family finance and investments – not surprising since women make up 47% of the nation’s workforce. “Women wield more and more influence in the management of personal and family finances,” comments NHPF CEO Richard Burns, “Thirty seven percent of married women are now the breadwinners in their families. That statistic alone made it crucial for us to tap into this group and gauge their thoughts about housing for their family.”

Many women live with extended family. Seventeen percent of those with a partner and children also report parents or other relatives living with them, emblematic of the modern “sandwich generation.” Coined by social worker Dorothy Miller in 1981, the term refers to women in their 30s and 40s who were sandwiched between young children and aging parents as the primary caregiver for both. But The NHP Foundation’s Burns has expanded the term’s definition beyond health to other basic needs such as housing, finding that those who fall under this new “sandwich generation” bracket have a new set of housing anxieties.

New administration brings concerns

Nearly 40% of moms in the survey say they have no confidence that the new administration will make affordable housing a priority.

This is coupled with worries about affording rent or mortgage – 56% of those surveyed worry about affording those payments. Nearly 74% are concerned that they or someone they know will find themselves “cost-burdened,” defined as spending more than 30% of one’s income on housing.

Is there a bright side for anxious moms this Mother’s Day?

According to NHPF President and CEO Burns, his organization is looking to the government to continue such successful programs as LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), which gives incentives to private equity for the development of affordable housing. Explains Burns, “LIHTC is vital to enabling providers to offer stable, long-term affordable housing options”.

The NHP Foundation is going even further to find solutions to help alleviate family concerns about housing. The organization is looking at new private and public partnerships designed to increase its stock of quality affordable housing. NHPF has also been selected by the University of Virginia School of Public Policy as part of a study seeking new models to help ensure that this and future generations are able to afford desirable places to live.

Other recent research undertaken by NHPF has found that that 75% of Americans worry about losing their housing. The organization determined that 76% of millennials have made compromises in order to find affordable housing and, finally, a third of Baby Boomers report “housing affordability” anxiety at least monthly.

For more information on this research and The NHP Foundation, please visit www.nhpfoundation.org

About The NHP Foundation

Headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL, The NHP Foundation (NHPF) was launched on January 30, 1989, as a publicly supported 501(c) (3) not-for- profit real estate corporation. NHPF is dedicated to preserving and creating sustainable, service-enriched multifamily housing that is both affordable to low and moderate income families and seniors, and beneficial to their communities. NHPF also provides a robust resident services program to nearly 18,000 community residents. Through partnerships with major financial institutions, the public sector, faith-based initiatives, and other not-for-profit organizations, NHPF has 47 properties, including over 8,000 units, in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Media Contact

Marijane Funess
Crenshaw Communications
(212) 367-9746

NAR HOME Survey: Economic, Financial Optimism Surges; Renters Lukewarm About Buying

Washington, D.C. – March 15, 2017 (nar.realtor) Multiple years of uninterrupted job gains and hope that the best is yet to come in 2017 are igniting consumer confidence across the country, and especially in rural and middle America, according to new consumer survey findings from the National Association of Realtors®. The survey additionally found a growing disparity among renters who think it’s a good time to buy and homeowners who think it’s a good time to sell.

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In NAR’s ongoing quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey(1), respondents were asked about their confidence in the U.S. economy and various questions about their housing expectations.

In the first three months of 2017, the share of households believing the economy is improving soared to its highest share in the survey’s five-quarter history (62 percent), and is up from 54 percent last quarter and 48 percent in March 2016.

Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun

In an extraordinary reversal from previous quarters, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says the surge in positive sentiment about the economy is primarily from respondents living in the Midwest (67 percent; 51 percent last quarter) and rural areas (63 percent; 43 percent last quarter). Last March, only 49 percent of Midwesterners and 35 percent of those living in rural areas thought the economy was improving.

“Confidence levels generally rise after a presidential election as the nation hopes for the best. Even though it is a highly polarized country, consumers for the most part have upbeat feelings about the economy right now,” he said. “Stronger business and consumer morale typically lead to even more hiring and spending, which in turn encourages more households to make big decisions like buying a home. These positive developments would be especially good news for prospective homebuyers in the more affordable Midwest region.”

Higher confidence in the economy is also translating to better feelings about households’ financial situation. The HOME survey’s monthly Personal Financial Outlook Index(2) showing respondents’ confidence that their financial situation will be better in six months, jumped to its highest reading in the survey, climbing to 62.6 in March from 59.8 in December 2016. A year ago, the index was 58.1.

Affordability and inventory challenges dimming renter optimism

On the cusp of the busy spring season, most households believe now is a good time to buy a home. However, confidence continues to trickle backwards among renters. Fifty-six percent of renters said now is a good time to buy, which is down both from last quarter (57 percent) and a year ago (62 percent). Eighty percent of homeowners (78 percent in December 2016; 82 percent in March 2016) think now is a good time to make a home purchase. Younger households, renters and those living in the costlier West region – where prices continue to spike – are the least optimistic.

“Inventory conditions are even worse than a year ago(3) and home prices and mortgage rates are on an uphill climb,” added Yun. “These factors are giving many renter households a pause about it being a good time to buy, even as their job prospects improve and wages grow. Unless there’s a significant boost in supply levels this spring, these constraints will unfortunately slow or delay some prospective buyers’ pursuit of purchasing a home.”

Led by the West, more homeowners view selling favorably right now

One promising trend that could alleviate supply shortages is the notable bump in the share of respondents this quarter who believe now is a good time to sell a home. Sixty-nine percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (62 percent) and a year ago (56 percent). Continuing the trend over the past year, those in the West continue to be the most likely to think now is a good time to sell (77 percent), while also being the least likely to think it’s a good time to buy (61 percent).

William E. Brown

William E. Brown

NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says homeowners looking to trade up or move down this spring could find themselves in a tricky spot without careful planning and a reliable expert on their side. “Demand far outpaces supply in many parts of the country right now, which means homeowners will likely sell their home much quicker than the time it takes to buy another,” he said. “Before listing, it’s best to have a carefully crafted plan in place. In addition to assisting in the hunt for a new home, a Realtor® is an invaluable negotiating partner in the common situation where a buyer’s new home purchase is contingent upon selling their property currently up for sale.”

About NAR’s HOME survey

In January through early March, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via random-digit dial, including half via cell phones and the other half via land lines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report and a total of 2,698 household responses are represented.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

1. NAR’s Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey tracks topical real estate trends, including current renters and homeowners’ views and aspirations regarding homeownership, whether or not it’s a good time to buy or sell a home, and expectations and experiences in the mortgage market. New questions are added to the survey each quarter to reflect timely topics impacting real estate.

HOME survey data is collected on a monthly basis and will be reported each quarter. New questions will be added to the survey each quarter to reflect timely topics impacting the real estate marketplace. The next release is scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

2. Index ranges between 0 and 100: 0 = all respondents believe their personal financial situation will be worse in 6 months; 50 = all respondents believe their personal financial situation will be about the same in 6 months; 100 = all respondents believe their personal situation will be better in 6 months.

3. Total housing inventory at the end of January was at 1.69 million existing homes available for sale, which is 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (1.82 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 20 straight months.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

Outdoor Remodeling Projects See High Happiness and Financial Returns, Say Realtors®

Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2016 (Realtor.org) Homeowners looking to tackle a remodeling project should head outside, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors® and National Association of Landscape Professionals. The 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features shows that not only can outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, but they can also bring advantages to homeowners planning to stay in their homes in the form of increased happiness.

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“Realtors® understand the importance of curb appeal because when it is time to sell, a home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “Realtors® also know that these projects – from flowerbeds to fire pits – can bring homeowners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.”

According to the report, which analyzes the reasons why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects and the value – both financially and emotionally – the finished projects bring to the homeowner, taking care of your home’s lawn will bring the most bang for the buck. Looking at the outdoor projects that produce the largest financial windfalls at resale, Realtors® ranked seeding lawn the highest, recovering 417 percent of the project cost at resale. Seed lawn is followed by implementing a standard lawn care program (303 percent of cost recovered) and updating landscaping with sod lawn (143 percent recovered) as the most cost-effective projects.

When it comes to the enjoyment homeowner’s gain from these projects, a new pool comes in at number one, receiving a perfect Joy Score of 10; Joy Scores range between 1 and 10 and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Ninety-five percent of homeowners who completed a pool project said they have a greater desire to be at home, 90 percent felt a major sense of accomplishment, and 80 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home. However, Realtors® estimate that homeowners will only recoup 50 percent of the cost on resale, making it one of the least profitable projects in the report.

The next most appealing project is an overall landscape upgrade – with a Joy Score of 9.8 – followed by a new wood deck, with a Joy Score of 9.7. When asked why homeowners took on these projects, the most common response was to add features to their home and improve livability.

“Homeowners looking to take on large, expensive outdoor projects should do so for themselves, for the enjoyment they and their family will gain from the finished results, and not only to improve the value of their home for when they sell. Smaller projects will bring potential sellers the most value back upon resale – and have the benefit of costing less up front,” said Salomone.

“This report validates that outdoor remodeling and landscaping improvements are a necessity when it comes to improving your home’s resale value,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president, public affairs, NALP. “Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations — whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features, like patios and exterior fireplaces — can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment. Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals is the trade association for the landscape industry, which employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. Member companies specialize in lawn care, landscape design and installation, landscape maintenance, tree care, irrigation and water management, and interior plantscaping.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Media Contact:

Jane Dollinger
(202) 383-1042
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