Here’s some interesting news and statistics from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They recently published results from their 2009 Housing Opportunity Pulse Survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers. The survey showed, among other things that 8 out of 10 Americans still consider having enough money for down payment and closing costs to be the biggest obstacle to buying a home. Additionally, the survey revealed that job security concerns are the highest in the 7 years since they have been sampling this data. For many, this is a barrier against homeownership.
Some other key results of the survey include:
· 83% of Americans still believe buying a home is a good financial decision.
· 3/4 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% since last year.
· The majority (58%) report that activity in their market has slowed.
· Regarding home sales, nearly 8 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%) say foreclosures are a big to moderate problem in their area.
· The rate of foreclosures is generally seen as stabilizing; 41%say the rate of foreclosures in their area is about the same as last year.
· 92% 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 5 respondents said they are very or fairly worried that they will have difficulty making their mortgage payments over the next year.
· 32% 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%) were open to the federal government taking a more active role in overseeing mortgage and lending practices – the number dropped this year to 47%
· 42% of Americans believe the country is back on the right track, more than double the number last year (16%).