Americans still long for homeownership

Although tougher lending standards and a thinning home inventory have made it more difficult for consumers to purchase property during recent years, a new survey reveals owning a home is still very much a part of the American Dream.

Although tougher lending standards and a thinning home inventory have made it more difficult for consumers to purchase property during recent years, a new survey reveals owning a home is still very much a part of the American Dream.

Close to 70 percent of respondents said if they had their way, they would move into a single-family detached home in a country setting, according to a survey conducted by Homes.com. In addition, 40 percent claimed their ideal property would have at least 2,000 square feet of living space, while 43 percent want to own a home with at least four bedrooms. 

Meanwhile, the amenities prospective buyers want in properties have also shifted significantly during the past 10 years, the survey found. Currently, top amenities include walk-in closets, en-suite bathrooms and fireplaces. These desires could reinforce the fact that Americans desire comfort and accessibility in their properties. Further, respondents also revealed they long for flexible spaces, such as sunrooms, finished basements and screened-in porches. A decade ago, there was significantly less demand for homes with specialty rooms.

New trends also show that a growing number of American households cherish the time they spend outdoors, as 30 percent said their ideal home would come with a deck, while 28 percent said a swimming pool is a must.

Fewer homes for sale

However, a constrained supply of existing homes could leave buyers with limited options. Property data shows the inventory declined 3.2 percent in June from the previous month to an estimated 2.39 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.   

"Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities."

But the lack of available homes on the market has proved to be a double-edged sword for current owners. Since there are fewer options, the national median existing-home price surged 7.9 percent in June from a year earlier, the report said. This was the largest annual increase seen since the beginning of 2008.

 



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