More potential home buyers are poised to enter the market this year, according a national survey by Chase, “Insights: From the Mind of the Homebuyer.” Three in 10 potential buyers say they plan to purchase a home in the next 18 months, with 32 percent of respondents citing low interest rates and 20 percent attributing rising rental costs as reasons for getting off the sidelines.
The survey also found that 62 percent of interested buyers believe that now is a better time to purchase a home compared to last year. And 20 percent of buyers surveyed say they want to upgrade from their current home.
But the survey did find concerns about affordability and competition. Nearly 70 percent of prospective home buyers say they worry that they missed the chance to buy at the best time because of rising home prices. Fifty-six percent say they are concerned about finding a home that fits within their budget and that’s located in a quality neighborhood. Bidding wars are also a concern, with three out of four buyers worrying they will be outbid by others.
“Buyers are clearly concerned about housing inventory and rising prices, especially during the competitive spring buying season,” says Cecelia Barbieri, senior vice president of marketing for Chase Mortgage Banking. “But the research shows that interested buyers are optimistic and ready to act on their goals. In fact, 73 percent said they’d give up things like eating out and taking vacations in order to buy their dream home.”
Quick stats from the survey:
- 43 percent of potential home buyers feel that getting a mortgage will be easier this year.
- 49 percent of women surveyed say they are more conservative than their partner and don’t want to go beyond their agreed-upon budget, while 39 percent of men say they are less conservative than their partner and are willing to push their budget limit to get the home they want.
- Only one in four interested buyers correctly answered a series of questions about home buying, including how annual percentage rates work, down payments, and lenders.
As home prices rise, homeowners are wasting no time making use of their newfound, or regained, home equity. In fact, while all mortgage originations rose in the third quarter of this year, the biggest gain was in home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).
Originations of these loans, which are often in addition to primary mortgages, jumped over 17 percent for the quarter, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, a mortgage industry publication: $20 billion in new HELOCs, which is the most quarterly volume for the product this year.