Clearwater, FL – A new survey by the National Association of Realtors® found that a majority of renters say homeownership is one of their highest priorities for the future and they are thinking more about purchasing a home now than in past years. Given that information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the survey also found that Americans overwhelmingly believe owning a home is a good financial decision.
“Renters are increasingly recognizing the benefits of homeownership,” said Amy Seeks, Chair of the Pinellas Realtor® Organization. “In addition to its many social benefits – such as providing a stable, safe environment – the financial benefits of owning a home are even more apparent to renters now. Homeownership also is one of the best ways to build financial security over the long term. In most cases, the benefits of homeownership far outweigh the benefits of renting.”
The 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing opportunities, found that Americans’ outlook on the housing market is improving. Nearly four in 10 Americans (38 percent) identified an increase in activity within their local housing market in the past year, compared to just 22 percent who reported a slowdown in activity. Respondents were also less concerned than in the past about the drop in home values and foreclosures.
The survey also found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed said now is a good time to buy. The Pinellas Realtor® Organization (PRO) believes that despite a recent rise in mortgage rates and lower home inventory levels, affordability conditions remain favorable for buyers.
“It’s a seller’s market in many areas of the country,” said Seeks. “However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities for buyers. Home prices are still very affordable for the typical buyer. Buyer traffic is also up from this time last year, so it’s evident that people want to be homeowners.”
PRO has a few tips for renters or move up buyers looking for a new place to call home. First, know your credit history and understand how the credit system works. Next, do your research. Home inventories are low and sellers are receiving multiple bids, so it’s imperative to be ready to make an offer when you see a home you like. Then, identify neighborhoods that you like and think about what you need and want in a home.
“Most importantly, contact a Realtor® in your area,” said Seeks. “Realtors® are the most trusted resource for real estate information and can give buyers the advantage they need in today’s market.”
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The Pinellas Realtor® Organization (PRO) is one of Tampa Bay’s largest professional trade associations. As the “Voice for Real Estate” in the Tampa Bay Area, PRO represents the interests of over 5,000 members from all real estate specialties including commercial sales, development, property management, appraisal, auctions, and residential sales.