MRIS Real Estate Agents Report Homebuyers are More Optimistic About Housing Market

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MRIS Survey Shows that Mid-Atlantic Housing Market is Moving Toward Recovery

MRIS Survey Shows that Mid-Atlantic Housing Market is Moving Toward Recovery

There are many reasons to be optimistic that 2015’s market will continue to trend upwards including the ‘healthier’ listings that we are seeing in our area.

MRIS, the industry-leading Mid-Atlantic Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that facilitates nearly $125 million a day in real estate transactions, today released the results from its 2014 End of Year Real Estate Survey. The survey looked at the factors affecting first-time homebuyers, their assessment of the real estate market and housing design trends.

According to the survey, a large percentage of MRIS real estate professionals believe that the 2014 spring housing market was comparable or better than the 2013 spring market. The survey also found that the overwhelming majority of real estate professionals feel that millennials view homeownership positively and cite financial and market barriers as the main reasons for not currently owning a home.

The survey drew responses from approximately 700 real estate professionals within MRIS’s geographic footprint, including Washington D.C., Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, focusing on this year’s spring market and first-time homebuyers.

First-Time Homebuyers
Approximately 42 percent of MRIS real estate professionals surveyed saw a decrease in first-time homebuyers from 2013 to 2014. However, only 18 percent believe that it is due to a preference to rent.

In line with national trends, over 87 percent of MRIS real estate professionals surveyed have found that millennials have a positive view of homeownership. According to a recent report from The Demand Institute, more than 8 in 10 millennials own or plan to own a home one-day and 75 percent believe that ownership is an important long-term goal.

“First-time buyers remain optimistic that their financial situation will improve, which would put them in a better position to own a home in the next few years,” said Andrew Strauch, MRIS Vice President of Product Innovation & Marketing. “There are still a number of barriers for buyers, but with historically low mortgage rates available, rising rent costs in the Mid-Atlantic and growing inventory, now is a good time for many younger families to consider purchasing a home.”

According to the survey, even though first-time homebuyers have a positive view of homeownership, real estate professionals believe the following factors are the top barriers they face when trying to enter the housing market:

  •     60 percent of those surveyed cited credit
  •     40 percent mentioned rising housing costs
  •     34 percent stated student loans
  •     32 percent cited inventory

State of the Market
“In 2014, the Mid-Atlantic housing market continued to improve,” said Strauch. “There are many reasons to be optimistic that 2015’s market will continue to trend upwards including the ‘healthier’ listings that we are seeing in our area. Active inventory is higher than this time last year.”

Nearly 70 percent of MRIS real estate professionals felt that the 2014 spring housing market was comparable or better than the 2013 spring market. Approximately 63 percent of respondents said that they do not feel the market has fully recovered in the Baltimore, MD and D.C. metro regions.

  •     Approximately 58 percent identified inventory as a factor affecting the market this past year
  •     Other factors that were recognized as impacting the market included tighter mortgage requirements, a lack of qualified buyers, high home costs and the weather
  •     Respondents felt that inventory affected sellers this year more than buyers. Approximately 40 percent felt that homes were taking longer to sell, while over 45 percent said that buyers at the low and middle tier of the housing market continue to face tight inventory and are not seeing any change.

Housing Trends
Location has long been considered a key factor for real estate. That trend continues in the Mid-Atlantic region with over half of MRIS professionals stating that location is the number one consideration for buyers. When selecting location, buyers are looking for accessible communities with walking paths and retail nearby.

  •     According to over 67 percent of MRIS real estate professionals surveyed, location is the most important factor that first-time homebuyers are interested in
  •     Over half of those surveyed said that there is increased demand from homebuyers for walkable communities with service and retail outlets nearby
  •     Approximately 86 percent said that the kitchen is the most important room in the house for buyers
  •     Fading home design trends identified included formal living and dining rooms and very large homes

For more information on the MRIS 2014 End of Year Real Estate Survey, please contact Gina Zuk at gina(at)abelcommunications(dot)com.    

Survey Methods Statement:
The survey, conducted online by MRIS, polled Mid-Atlantic real estate professionals on the real estate market and homebuyer trends. The sample source was only MRIS customers, who are real estate professionals within the MRIS geographic footprint. Approximately 700 MRIS customers participated in the survey.

ABOUT MRIS
MRIS is Real Estate in Real Time™. We’re a leading provider of real estate information technology and services, and are frequently ranked among the most productive Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the nation, facilitating over $45 billion in system wide sales in 2013. In its core market, MRIS supports over 45,000 real estate professionals spanning the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides a portfolio of technology solutions and proprietary databases for real estate professionals, as well as broker and agent software products and an industry-leading consumer portal, MRIShomes.com (formerly HomesDatabase). In addition, the CURE Solutions Group, a subsidiary of MRIS, provides proprietary back-end technology to other MLS systems, serving nearly 110,000 customers each day. Visit MRIS at MRIS.com and our web based TV station, mrisTV.com. “Like” us on Facebook/MRISonFB, follow us on Twitter, @MRIS_REal_News and be sure to visit MRISblog.com for real-time news and company updates.

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Gina Zuk
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