Survey Reveals People Still Want to Own a Home

January 30, 2012

We understand important buyer preferences because more than 20,000 people responded to our 2012 “What Do You Call Home?” survey. Today’s “new normal” requires great emphasis on consumer preferences and values that impact the home purchase decision. Understanding these details is critical to planning and achieving a more profitable strategy.

  • The survey results are well-diversified by region, price point and all lifestages.
  • The consumer sample, comprised of people who had recently visited a new home community and registered their e-mail address, includes 75% current homeowners, 20% renters, 3% who live with their parents, and 2% other.
  • The survey results give us excellent insight into the minds of those who want to buy soon, although the sample may not be representative of all U.S. households.

According to Consumer Insights 2012, here is what consumers are thinking today about homeownership:

  • The expectation of home appreciation continues to be minimal. Of no surprise, consumers are no longer buying a home for near-term investment purposes. Only 24% expect more than 2% home appreciation annually over the next five years.
  • Homeownership begins with personal value as “very important.” The highest-ranking reasons (i.e., “very important” reasons) that homeownership is important to consumers today include:

    • “I don’t want to rent the rest of my life.”

    • “Ownership is what I strive for.”
  • Second to personal values – but still important – are the financial values. When we combined “very important” with “important,” consumers rank “Buying is Affordable” as the #1 reason
  • Interestingly, “tax benefits of a mortgage” is at the bottom, below the personal values of homeownership.

Eighty-nine percent think now is a good time to buy a home, with little variation in optimism by region, age or lifestage. The overall average is up 1% from 88% noted in last year’s Consumer Insights 2011 survey.

What are the obstacles today? What will motivate buyers to move? Learn about 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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