A recent report in RisMedia focused on the results of the fourth quarter Consumer Outlook Survey which was recently released by Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC real estate brokerage network. According to the survey people's perception of the real estate market is becoming more favorable, and as a result more are likely to commit to purchasing or selling property in 2014 compared with last year.
The survey showed that 78% of respondents perceived real estate as being favorable, an increase of five points compared to the previous quarter, and an increase of 15 points compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Millennials were the most optimistic, with their perception reaching 87%.
Experts point out this is due to the fact that consumers understand the US economy and the real estate market is continuing to recover. As a result more people feel positive about their own personal situations and are more willing to take advantage of home prices while they are still affordable, and of interest rates that are still historically low. Respondents to the survey acknowledged the interest rate increases last year, but 60% expects the number of house sales to rise during the year, and 65% feel optimistic about the housing market in general for 2014. However half of those responding to the survey think the rate of house price growth in the US will slow down this year as the market begins to return to normal. People are increasingly looking to purchase property so they have a home, somewhere to raise a family, and hopefully something that will generate wealth in the longer term.
Homeownership is still deeply important to most people, with 78% agreeing that owning a property is part of the American dream, while 96% view owning a home as important. Some 72% thought finding the right property in the right community was highly important to their family’s happiness.
In spite of the increasing optimism, some people are still cautious and remain concerned about the possibility of home values going down. Others are concerned about being able to save a sufficient amount for a down payment, and 67% think there will be more competition for homes on the market this year due to tight inventory levels.
Most people still view a real estate agent as being an important part of the process of purchasing a home, and feel choosing a good agent will help them make the right choice of property purchase.