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Americans Weigh In: What is the “Ideal Residence?”

In recent years, especially in Atlanta and to the interest of millennials, there has been a shift in what many consider the ideal residence. With a renewed focus on the convenience of walkability within urban life and a shift away from suburban sprawl, has suburban life taken a back seat to the growing popularity of urbanization? Despite the lure and convenience of city living suburbia still reigns, according to the National Association of Realtors.

J.D. Crowe, President of Southeast Mortgage

J.D. Crowe, President of Southeast Mortgage

NAR’s 1Q Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey found 85 percent of homeowners and 75 percent of renters expressed preference toward suburban, single-family homes. Only 15 percent of homeowners and 21 percent of renters would prefer an urban area.

“The American Dream for most consumers is not a cramped, 500-square-foot condo in the middle of the city, but instead a larger home within close proximity to the jobs and entertainment an urban area provides,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a release. “While this is not a new discovery, supply and demand imbalances and unhealthy levels of price growth in several metro areas have made buying an affordable home an onerous task for far too many first-time buyers and middle-class families.”

To accommodate the desire for single family-homes, Yun recommends homebuilders begin focusing on single-family homes as tight inventory continues to hold the housing industry back.

Other findings from the quarterly report include:

Home Buying Sentiment

Regardless of whether homebuyers prefer a suburban home or an in-town loft, the majority agree on one thing: now is a good time to buy a home. Seventy-five percent of respondents believe it’s a good time and 44 percent of those believe very strongly it’s a good time. Only 25 percent of people responded it’s not a good time to buy a home, and 12 percent believe very strongly it’s a poor time.

“A high number of homeowners are expressing that it’s a good time to buy and this sentiment is no doubt being fueled by the $4.4 trillion in housing equity accumulation in the past three years,” said Yun.

However, renters have a different set of views and and are losing optimism about present-day homebuying. Last quarter, 68 percent of renters thought it was a good time to buy. This quarter, 62 percent of renters, compared to 75 percent of homeowners, believe now is a good time to purchase.

Home Selling Sentiment

Slightly less respondents, but still the majority, believe now is a good time to sell a home compared to those who believe the same about buying a home. Fifty-eight percent of people responded favorably and 28 percent responded very favorably, while 44 percent believe it isn’t a good time with 20 percent believing that sentiment strongly.Those in the West were most likely to believe now is a good time to sell a home.

The next HOME survey will be released June 15. Our predictions? Single family homes will still reign and home buying sentiment will continue to increase.


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