Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey:
Americans Are Increasingly Confident About Homeownership, Real Estate Market Recovery
Home Sales in Utah County up 7.5%
[Orem, Utah] – Brookfield Real Estate and Relocation Affiliates Inc., owner of the Prudential Real Estate franchise network, today released the quarterly Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey showing that Americans’ confidence in homeownership and real estate continues climbing from the first quarter and a year earlier. In Utah County year to date, the number of homes sold increased 7.5% over the same period a year ago.
Similar to the national sentiment, signs of growing confidence are apparent among local residents as home prices in Utah County have stabilized and even increased in some cases.
According to the national survey:
- 69% believe that real estate is a good investment despite the market volatility of the past few years, up 6% from the first-quarter 2012 survey and 17 percentage points from first quarter 2011.
- 72% expressed confidence that the real estate market and property values will improve during the next two years, including a 6-point jump among those “very confident” or “confident” vs. the first quarter 2012, and a 14-point gain in this subset over first quarter 2011.
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents have a favorable perception of the U.S. housing market, up from 60% in the first-quarter survey and 52% in first-quarter 2011).
“The American Dream is clearly on the mend,” said Bruce Tucker, Principal Broker of Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate. “Americans are feeling better about homeownership and the ongoing recovery taking place in residential real estate. Many are increasingly optimistic about their personal circumstances and, with housing affordability near all-time highs, they want to act on the opportunity.”
Factors driving homeownership
Homeownership remains the central component to the American Dream, as 78% of respondents said owning a home was still “very important” – the same percentage reported in the first-quarter 2012 study. A full 98% said homeownership was at least somewhat important.
In addition, with interest rates at historically low levels, 96% of respondents at least “somewhat agree” that now is a great time to buy a home – the same percentage reported in the first-quarter 2012 study.
More than the financial reasons to buy a home, respondents placed higher priority on the emotional reasons for homeownership. “Control over living space,” “more space for family,” “safer neighborhood” and “good place to raise a family” rated higher than “a good investment,” “financial security” and “tax benefits.”
“More people in Utah County are buying homes as affordability is at an all time high,” said Tucker. “Owning a home contributes to their quality of life in the aspects of privacy and other intangible rewards of having their own space.”
The survey also shows that consumers remain cautious about the real estate market and process, as a full 30% “strongly agree” that the housing crisis reminds them to be more careful about buying or selling a home; up two percentage points from the first-quarter 2012 survey. In addition:
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents indicated that financing or getting a mortgage is more challenging than it was before the market crisis, which is up from 58% in the first-quarter 2012 survey.
- Among those considering a real estate transaction, 39% expressed concern they won’t be able to sell their current home, up 11 points from the first-quarter 2012 survey and 10 points from first quarter 2011.
- Given the dynamics and challenges of today’s real estate market, nearly three out of four (74%) respondents think it is more important than ever to work with a good real estate agent for the best success in buying or selling a home (up from 71% in the first-quarter survey and 67% in first quarter 2011).
“The real estate market is improving in Utah County and consumers face many choices,” said Tucker. “Consumers should seek out a real estate professional who can help them make the best choices to suit their needs.”
Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology
Interviews with 1,250 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Palisades Media Ventures and Penn Schoen Berland, between May 22 and June 1, 2012. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought/sold a home or are considering buying/selling a home. The margin of error is ± 2.8% for all respondents and higher for subgroups.
About Brookfield Residential Property Services
Brookfield Residential Property Services is a leading global provider of real estate and relocation services, technology and knowledge. The company’s portfolio consists of leading brands, including Brookfield Global Relocation Services, the second largest provider of global relocation services, Prudential Real Estate, Brookfield Real Estate Services, Royal LePage, Real Living, Via Capitale and Centract. Through its real estate brands, it has nearly 80,000 real estate professionals in more than 2,800 locations, who transact over $150 billion annually. Its global footprint spans North America, the United Kingdom, France, China, Singapore, India, Brazil and Australia, and includes more than 2,500 employees worldwide. It is a division of Brookfield Asset Management, a global asset manager with approximately $150 billion of assets under management.
Brookfield Real Estate and Relocation Affiliates Inc. is a part of Brookfield Residential Property Services’ integrated real estate brokerage franchise company. Its Prudential Real Estate franchisees are independently owned and operated. Companies are selected based upon outstanding performance records and high levels of customer service.
Prudential Real Estate provides franchisees with business strategies using Operation Reviews. Other benefits include access to Prudential Real Estate’s Online Seller Advantage® program, designed to provide real-time information to sellers with the touch of a keystroke, and Online Buyer Advantage®, which enables consumers to easily search for properties in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Prudential Real Estate is one of the largest real estate brokerage franchise networks in North America, with more than 1,500 franchise offices and 50,000 sales professionals as of December 31, 2011.
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