More people than ever are using the Internet to search for their next home. A joint study from NAR and Google revealed that real estate-related Google searches grew 253 percent over the past four years. The study, The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, focuses on the connection between consumer Internet use and online home searches and shopping patterns.
More and more renters aspire to become homeowners, according to a recent survey. According to survey results, nearly 60 percent of current renters plan to purchase a home in the next two years.
The survey also revealed key motivations behind the respondents’ plans for homeownership. Forty-nine percent simply want the chance to call themselves homeowners, 44 percent view owning a home as a good financial investment, and 36 percent need more space for their family and/or children.
On January 1 both the Senate and House passed legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 2.
Read more about the real estate-related provisions in the bill.
When it comes finding a home, location continues to be the most influential factor. According to NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 61 percent of recent home buyers reported quality of the neighborhood as the most important consideration in their home search. The second most significant factor was also location-related, with 43 percent reporting convenience to work as a reason for choosing a particular home.
Selling a home is no easy process. There are over 20 steps involved from beginning to end, and successfully accomplishing each step requires not just expertise but also time. According to NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, sellers are turning to real estate agents at historically high rates. In recent transactions, 88 percent of home sales were agent assisted. Only nine percent of recent sellers reported selling on their own.
According to recently released government data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, credit continues to be overly stringent. Although buyers’ incomes have increased since 2004, the loan-to income ratio has declined. For example, the median income for a buyer using conventional financing rose from $79,000 in 2007 to $90,000 in 2011, while the national median household income stayed flat at $50,000 during the same period. The indication is that more loan applicants with higher incomes were applying and/or banks’ income standards became more stringent.