A new national AP/AOL Real Estate poll reveals that 49% of Americans believe housing prices in their regions will rise in the next two years [MarketWatch] which contradicts the research done by Economy.com last week which said that home prices will show price declines in certain markets over the several years.

Some of the key stats were:

  • 56% of renters say they are at least somewhat likely to buy a home in the next two years
  • The vast majority of recent homebuyers (88%) say the process of buying a home was a positive experience, with more than half (51%) rating their experience as “very positive”
  • 62% of recent homebuyers used a professional real estate agent in their searches, and 71% of likely future homebuyers say they will use an agent when they start house hunting
  • 71% of those who used the Internet or plan to use it for their home searches say they have taken a virtual tour of homes
  • Quality of construction (87%) ranks as the #1 most important factor when buying or renting a home, followed by price (79%), quality of local schools (68%), possibility of appreciation in value (57%) and closet and storage space (54%)

On face value, the stats are pretty interesting, especially the rental stat which I found surprising. The very idea that half the country feels that prices will rise is also kind of shocking with all the negativity floating around right now.

The survey size seems pretty small but I am not an expert on surveys. The survey results seem very positive overall which is in contrast to conventional wisdom (but we all know how reliable that can be). Most of the questions seemed to focus on the experience of home buying and selling, and that was generally positive.

What about all that stress about a frenzied market a few years ago? Was is still fun despite the stress?



4 Responses to “AOL/AP Poll: Apparently The Housing Glass Is Half Full”

  1. Rich In NNJ says:

    Poll: Costs Still Stymie 1st-Home Buyers

    Other key stats from the poll:

    Eighty percent of Americans believe it is difficult for most first-time buyers to afford a home, according to an AP-AOL Real Estate poll. Many people — 59 percent — believe the situation is worse now than five years ago.

    The Census Bureau reported recently that a third of U.S. homeowners with mortgages spent 30 percent or more of their household income last year on housing costs. These costs, which include mortgage payments, taxes, insurance and utilities, are usually considered excessive if they top 30 percent of household income.

    The poll found that 46 percent of those surveyed thought the housing market in their area is overpriced.

    People who are interested in buying a home in the future worry most about interest rates going up, the poll showed. Eighty-four percent said that was a concern.

    Slightly fewer — 78 percent — say they worry about paying more than the fair market value for their abode. Sixty-five percent fret about being able to afford their mortgage payment, while 62 percent fear that the home might drop in value. Fifty-eight percent worry that they won’t find enough money for a down payment.

  2. WT Economist says:

    The same poll that found people expect housing prices to go up also found that most people believe housing is overpriced.

    The solution to the contradiction? The consensus seems to be that sellers will continue to find suckers. It seems to be based on past experience, since by most traditional measures of affordability, housing in some markets has been over-priced for several years.

  3. jf.sellsius says:

    If half say prices are going up is that a good thing? I don’t think you can say. If they already think houses are overpriced, the belief they will rise further would not lead me to believe they are happy about the prospect of overpaying some more.

    And how many of those who answered the poll Yes going up, were in the market to buy? If most of these YES votes were homeowners who just bought I think they would rationalize they made a good investment, thereby rendering the stat worthless in my opinion.

    Also, the other half sees prices as going down or neutral (you don’t state in your post for comparison). I don’t see that as positive news since if you believe housing prices will drop you will WAIT until they do before you buy, wouldn’t you?

    I guess, in the final analysis, it’s just a half a glass of water.

  4. jw says:

    This sounds an awful lot like surveys of individual investors in late 2000, who still had starry-eyed expectations of 10% annual gains in their equity portfolios, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. A population with no basic understanding of economics and a vested interest in the status quo is going to take longer than would seem rational to come around to reality.