Real Estate Consumer Research Reveals Why People Are Not Buying Now

February 7, 2012

Consumers value the importance of homeownership, as we detailed in our last newsletter about our real estate consumer research. So what is keeping them from buying today? More than 20,000 people who recently visited a new home community responded to our What Do You Call Home? Consumer Insights 2012 survey and offered insight into why prospective shoppers are still sitting on the fence.

Who did we talk to?

  • 75% current homeowners
  • 20% renters
  • 3% who live with their parents
  • 2% other
  • A well diversified geographical and by lifestage sample

Are current homeowners rethinking homeownership? No.

  • 98% of all prospective shoppers prefer ownership over renting for their next home. Only 2% of these prospective shoppers prefer to rent today, despite the fact that 20% of those who took the survey are currently renting.
  • Even among the 2% that shared they wanted to rent for their next move, 68% want to buy a home in the future.
  • The young couple and the family segments are the most likely to exit renting for homeownership.

Are they all waiting to move? Yes and No.

  • 32% expect to move in the next year.
  • 25% do not know when they will move.
  • BUT 75% said they would move for the right opportunity.
  • Only 24% say they are very satisfied with their current home and have no desire to move.

What are the obstacles to buying a home today?

  • 64% of consumers say “yes” or “maybe” to “What obstacles? It’s a great time to buy!”
  • Of the true obstacles, consumers note these as their top three:


    • Bad time to sell

    • Down payment

    • Lack of confidence in the market

  • Interestingly, qualification does not appear to be the major financial obstacle today. Only 23% note qualifying for a home as a potential obstacle.
  • 50% still have some lack of confidence in the market.
  • Lack of confidence in the market is most common among the older, more mature buyers; however, the more mature, experienced buyers are also the ones who are most likely to recognize that now is the right time to buy a home.

These answers are just a taste of our real estate consumer research. Find out what more than 20,000 consumers said this year in response to 90+ questions that cover the most important characteristics like home design, style and community preferences.

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