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Daily Real Estate News  |  March 23, 2009  |   Survey: Americans Still Eager to Buy
Nearly 25 percent of adults say they plan to purchase a home in the next five years and half of those (53.5 percent) will be first-time home buyers, according to a survey commissioned by Move Inc., operator of Realtor.com.

More than 18 percent cite the $8,000 tax credit as a motivating factor. Potential home buyers with higher incomes are more interested in the tax credit than those in lower income brackets, with 43.4 percent of potential first-time buyers who earn $50,000 or more saying they plan to use the tax credit.

According to the survey, half of all Americans (49.6 percent) are paying more attention to home values today than they were a year ago, especially those ages 25 to 34 (61.9 percent). The median age of first-time home buyers is 30 years old.

The Move survey uncovered changing attitudes toward owning a home. About two-thirds (62.5 percent) now consider their home primarily a place to live as opposed to an investment. Adults earning up to $20,000 and between $30,000 and $39,900 annually are significantly more likely to feel most strongly that a home is more of a place to live than an investment as compared to those earning $50,000 or more.

When presented with a list of amenities, home owners wanted it all–with more space leading the list (about 10 percent chose that option). Other amenities that were high on many shoppers’ lists included energy saving features (6.8 percent), bigger or nicer yard (6.1 percent), a better location (4.2 percent), or updated amenities (3.4 percent).

The Move survey also found that 18 percent plan to take advantage of the Obama administrations program to prevent foreclosures.

But even for those who are not in foreclosure, they reported the following:
  • 21 percent of all home owners with a mortgage contacted a lender in the last 12 months to restructure their loans.
  • 10.6 percent received help; 5 percent are still waiting for an answer.
  • 27 percent know someone who is likely to face foreclosure.
  • 25.6 percent know someone whose mortgage is underwater.

Source: Move Inc. (03/23/2009)

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