Saturday, March 12, 2011

Americans confident of real estate recovery

WASHINGTON – March 11, 2011 – The majority of America’s potential homebuyers and sellers – 68 percent – believe that the real estate market and property values will recover in the next year or two, according to a survey released by Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services Inc. That’s up from the 47 percent in a similar survey conducted in April 2010, underscoring a more bullish outlook for the real estate market today.

In addition, 86 percent of Americans still believe real estate is a good investment, despite the recent market volatility.

The survey found that six in 10 respondents are more interested in buying real estate (58 percent); and 59 percent are optimistic about buying given the momentum of the economic recovery. And although the price of many Americans’ homes declined during the recession, 89 percent recognize they can now buy a house at a lower price.

The survey tried to determine why some buyers who want a home are not yet shopping. The top reason (77 percent) was a fear about selling an existing home, followed by concern about getting a fair price for the home (67 percent) and emotions (58 percent).

For those who sold a home in the past year, 78 percent report satisfaction with the sale. Of these, 32 percent were very satisfied with the final price, and 46 percent were grateful they were able to sell given market conditions. A relatively small number (22 percent) were disappointed or resentful about the price they received for their home.

Of the 45 percent of survey respondents looking to trade up, 64 percent want more space or property, 49 percent a nicer house and 41 percent a better neighborhood. Only 21 percent want to scale down, while 34 percent want a similar home.

The survey highlighted the importance of listing a home at the right price: 74 percent of buyers believe that many homes could meet their needs, making price a significant consideration; and 26 percent will pay top dollar for a home that specifically suits their needs. In setting the right price, however, sellers were split, with 53 percent wanting to price right at, or slightly below, market rate to attract more bids; but 47 percent wanting to price slightly higher than market and hoping some buyer will pay more.

Real estate agents
The majority of respondents highlighted the importance of real estate agents in the process of buying or selling their home. Seventy-five percent said that an agent is very important or essential, with only 24 percent saying agents are helpful but not imperative.

The Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey of 1,253 Americans between the ages of 25-64 in the market for buying a home was conducted Jan. 20-27, 2011.

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