Homeownership Rate Falls, Appetite for Buying a Home Up

According to the latest Gallup poll homeownership in America has fallen to the lowest rate in over a decade. Yet more people are interested in buying than ever. What’s the bottom line for buyers, sellers and investors?

The recent poll, which was also featured in the National Association of Realtors’ RealtorMag shows the percentage of American who own a home is down to just 62%, a rate which hit a peak of 73% at the height of the recent boom. On the up side this means a bigger than ever pool of individuals for selling a home to, especially for investors.

They want to buy too. The same Gallup poll showed 70% of respondents saying it is a good time for buying a home, up almost 20% from 4 years ago.

Some have pointed to this as a reason why an incredibly low rate of tenants plans to renew their leases according to other surveys. Landlords need to wake up and either make sure they are working hard to keep their tenants happy or consider offering rent-to-own or seller financing options.

Unfortunately, even though there are a huge number of people interested in buying a home mortgages still remain incredibly challenging and now more expensive to get. There are lots of cash buyers but they are looking for REOs and foreclosure auctions. The average homeowner is going to have to seriously consider selling for cash to one of these investors if they want to free themselves of their properties soon. The peak season for selling a home is coming and if not sold by summer, these property owners could well find it tough to unload them before next year. Then there are the elections which could throw the housing market far into one direction or the other depending on who gets elected.