As a positive sign for the U.S. economy and housing conditions, Americans are reportedly more optimistic about buying a home, according to the PulteGroup Home Index survey. Overall attitudes toward buying a home is trending positive, and Margaret Gramann, senior vice president of sales for PulteGroup, Inc., commented, “For the first time in years, Americans have a growing sense of optimism that the housing market is improving, and that these positive changes may be sustainable.”
Making sense of the story
- The survey found that 67 percent of people say they plan on purchasing a home, and of that amount, 32 percent are looking to buy within the next two years.
- Twenty-one percent would move up their buying timeline if they were able to sell their current home at a higher price point/break their lease without penalty.
- The results indicate that 57 percent of adults think now is a good or excellent time to purchase items they want or need, especially when it comes to entering the housing market.
- Millennials and move-up buyers represent the most engaged consumer segments, 85 percent and 71 percent, respectively, intending to purchase a home in the future.
- As for baby boomer trends, 50 percent of those aged 55 and older are looking to purchase a home in the future.
- Seventy percent of home shoppers plan to spend more or as much money on their next home, and 64 percent prefer to spend more on a home that’s move-in ready rather than spend less and renovate.
- Homeowners largely have not extracted any recovered equity in their homes, according to a survey by Freddie Mac. Borrowers with conventional loans pulled just $6.5 billion out of their homes during the first quarter through cash-out refinancing, down from $6.7 billion during the prior quarter.
- Cash-out refinancing has been lower only in three quarters since mid-2000, and when adjusted for inflation, cash-out refinancing since 2010 has been near its lowest levels since 1997.
- Cash-out refinancing surged during the housing bubble, reaching a high of $84 billion during the second quarter of 2006. But many borrowers ended up in a position where they owed more than their homes were worth, resulting in a painful pay-back that continues today.