SAN FRANCISCO, May 20, 2009 – Trulia.com, the best place to start a real estate search, along with RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released the latest results of a tracking study conducted on their behalf by Harris Interactive® showing notable gains in consumers’ willingness to buy foreclosed properties, with 55 percent of U.S. adults indicating that they are at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home in the future, compared to the 47 percent of U.S. adults who indicated the same in November 2008. In the current market, U.S. adults believe foreclosed homes are an even greater bargain opportunity than before, with 40 percent expecting to pay at least 50 percent less for a foreclosed home, compared to only 31 percent of U.S. adults surveyed in November 2008. The May 2009 survey also found that 74 percent of U.S. adults familiar with President Barack Obama’s Mortgage Relief Program are at least somewhat confident it will give homeowners the incentive to renegotiate with mortgage lenders in order to prevent their homes from going into foreclosure.
While overall consumer interest in buying foreclosed homes has increased, the current wave of the study also found higher levels of negative sentiment around purchasing foreclosed properties. In November of 2008, 80 percent of U.S. adults felt that there were negative aspects to purchasing a foreclosed home. In the current survey, the number of U.S. adults concerned with negative aspects has risen to 85 percent. Among these 85 percent, 71 percent cite hidden costs as their top concern, 46 percent believe the process is risky and 31 percent are concerned that the home will lose value. Not surprisingly, consumers expect hefty discounts on foreclosed homes, with 83 percent believing they should pay at least 25 percent less for a foreclosed property, perhaps to compensate for perceived risks.
“As interest in purchasing foreclosed homes increases, competition is heating up with traditional sellers competing with bank-owned prices. Across the U.S., 24 percent of existing homes for sale on the market have seen at least one price reduction in order to stay competitive, creating a tremendous opportunity for consumers to buy homes at significantly lower prices,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of Trulia.
“Competition amongst sellers, along with the newly created economic incentives, has created the most significant discounts that we’ve seen in decades, presenting opportunities for first-time home buyers and families looking to trade up to a bigger home.”
“Although consumers are aware that there may be some challenges involved in purchasing a foreclosed home, they are very interested in the bargain opportunities available in the foreclosure market. People want the best deals they can find and they are willing to go outside of their comfort zones if it means they can buy more home for less money,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac. “Consumers who educate themselves on the opportunities available will likely be rewarded.”
Most Likely to Buy Foreclosures
- Two-thirds of U.S. adults between the ages 18-44 (66 percent) would consider purchasing a foreclosed home, compared to a little more than one-third of those ages 55 and older (38 percent). Respondents aged 45-54 fell in between, with 53 percent indicating that they would be at least somewhat likely to consider a foreclosed property.
- Current renters (68 percent) are more likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home than current homeowners (49 percent).
- U.S. adults with children under 18 living in their household also show an increased likelihood to consider foreclosure properties, with 66 percent indicating they would be at least somewhat likely to purchase one, compared to 49 percent of those without children under 18 in the household.
Confidence in Mortgage Relief Plan
- 74 percent of U.S. adults familiar with President Obama’s Mortgage Relief Program are at least somewhat confident it will give homeowners the incentive to renegotiate with mortgage lenders in order to prevent their homes from going into foreclosure.
- U.S. adults aged 18-34 familiar with the program have the highest confidence level in the Mortgage Relief Program – 84 percent are least somewhat confident in the plan, compared to 71 percent of those aged 35-44, 69 percent of those aged 45-54, and 71 percent of those aged 55+.
- Interestingly, women familiar with the program are more likely to be at least somewhat confident in its ability to give homeowners the incentive to renegotiate with their mortgage lender in order to prevent their home from going into foreclosure than men familiar with the program (79 percent vs. 69 percent, respectively).
To listen to a replay of Pete Flint and Rick Sharga discussing the results of the survey and other insights into the 2009 real estate market, click here.
For more information about Trulia or to experience the power of a Trulia search, please visit http://www.trulia.com/.
For more information about RealtyTrac and to access its nationwide foreclosure data, please visit http://www.realtytrac.com/.
This May 2009 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service on behalf of Trulia between May 1-5, 2009 among 2,397 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Results were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ken Shuman. The November 2008 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service on behalf of Trulia between November 11-13, 2008 among 2,033 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Results were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ken Shuman.
About Trulia, Inc.
Trulia, Inc., has revolutionized real estate search by offering a rich, intuitive user experience to help consumers find homes for sale, track local price trends, compare properties and neighborhood data all at the hyper-local level. Trulia Voices, the largest real estate community on the web, allows home buyers, sellers, agents and real estate enthusiasts to ask questions, receive advice and blog on topics such as the buying and selling process, foreclosures, refinancing and more. Trulia’s user-friendly search can also be accessed on more than 170 websites as a result of our media partnerships. Trulia has received a number of awards, including the 2009 Webby Award for real estate. For more information, visit http://www.trulia.com/.
About RealtyTrac Inc.
RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com) is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 million unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research, powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
Ken Shuman, email@example.com
Paul Loeffler for Trulia, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-848-7176
Michelle Sabolich for RealtyTrac, email@example.com, 415- 402-0230