Prudential Real Estate Q1 Consumer Outlook Survey: Buyers and Sellers See Spring Buying Season Blooming into Summer

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Prudential PenFed Realty announces results from Prudential Real Estate’s 2014 First Quarter Consumer Outlook Survey that addresses the spring and summer real estate markets as viewed by prospective homebuyers and sellers.

Buyers have more homes to choose from than in recent years with still historically low mortgage interest rates available.

Prudential Real Estate, a brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, and Prudential PenFed Realty today released the results of its first quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating that consumers’ perception of the residential real estate market is increasingly positive. And, following a long, tough winter, consumers nationwide believe this spring is an opportune time for real estate; most are confident they can make a successful real estate transaction this season or in summer.

Overall, 77% of consumers have a favorable view of housing, a 12-point jump from a year earlier. Millennials showed the highest favorability toward residential real estate at 85%, a sign that first-time and younger buyers and sellers are positioned to make their move this spring. Respondents also indicated they are increasingly focused on homeownership and its related opportunities: nearly 70% said they were more committed to buying or selling a home now, a 6-point increase from the year-end study.

“Consumers understand that home valuations remain attractive and mortgage rates are still near historic lows, but with the brutal winter that extended into spring around the country many really couldn’t do much about it,” said Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate. “The optimism and enthusiasm we’re seeing through the survey underscores consumers’ motivation and pent-up demand. As more homes come to market and lenders ease their stringent underwriting guidelines, we anticipate busy times ahead in real estate.”

A full 78% of potential buyers said it will be easier to purchase a home this spring since “homeowners want to sell;” 72% are encouraged because “the economy is improving.” Sellers (63%), too, are buoyed this spring by the improving economy and their perception that buyers are motivated following the difficult winter. Interestingly, more respondents believe that spring momentum will carry into summer, marked by an 8-point jump vs. a year ago in those who view summer as the best time to buy a home.

“While winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic certainly impacted our business in the first quarter, both buyers and sellers are now very active in the delayed spring market and we’re expecting that to continue through the fall,” said Kevin Wiles, president of Prudential PenFed Realty’s Mid-Atlantic Region. “Buyers have more homes to choose from than in recent years with still historically low mortgage interest rates available. Sellers continue to benefit from robust buyer demand and higher sales prices.”

“As the U.S. economy continues its slow, steady recovery more people are gaining confidence in their personal situations and are taking a longer look at homeownership’s possibilities,” said Stephen Phillips, COO of HSF Affiliates. “With housing affordability still high in most areas of the country, potential buyers and sellers want to capitalize.”

Concerns Ahead

In a twist on real estate’s ongoing recovery from the downturn, respondents cited higher-than-expected home prices as the top reason why it may be more difficult to buy a home now. In addition, 76% of consumers believe that pent-up demand will create even more competition for existing homes. And interest rates, which remain near historic lows despite a run-up during the past year, weigh on people’s minds. A full 83% said they plan on buying sooner vs. later before interest rates rise – that’s an 8-point jump from the year-end study.

With these opportunities and challenges at hand, 88% of respondents believe a quality real estate agent is important to their home buying or selling success.

“Real estate markets are in constant flux and tight lending guidelines only complicate the picture for many consumers,” said Lee. “Knowledgeable agents will help address these challenges and navigate the process, resulting in sound real estate decisions by consumers.”

The full survey details are available upon request. An infographic illustrating survey findings is available here.

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology
Interviews with 2,500 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Edelman Berland in February 2014 and March 2014. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000. The margin of error is +/-1.96% for all respondents.

About PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union):
Established in 1935, PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the country serving over 1.2 million members worldwide; with more than $16 billion in assets. Its longstanding mission has been to provide superior financial services, responsive to members’ needs in a cost effective manner. PenFed offers market leading mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, checking, and a wide-range of other financial services with its members’ interests always in mind.

Serving a diverse population, there are many ways to become a PenFed member; including numerous association members and employee groups. PenFed is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration, does business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and is an equal housing lender.

About PenFed Realty

PenFed Realty, wholly owned by PenFed(Pentagon Federal Credit Union), is a full-service real estate company with an annual sales volume over $2.8 billion; serving PenFed members as well as the general public. Recognized as a leading real estate company in its service area, it is ranked among the top 25 Prudential affiliates nationwide. Over 1,700 top-notch sales professionals work out of PenFed Realty’s 50+ offices to provide complete real estate services nationwide.

Prudential PenFed Realty is an affiliate of the Brookfield/Home Service Franchise (Formerly Prudential Real Estate) Residential Property Services network. Its franchises are independently owned and operated. The network provides franchises with numerous benefits, including access to Prudential Real Estate’s Online Seller Advantage® program designed to provide real-time information to sellers in an easy to use system; and Online Buyer Advantage®, enabling consumers to easily search for property in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Prudential Real Estate is one of the largest real estate brokerage franchise networks in North America, with $109.3 billion in sales volume (USD), 389,000 open transaction sides, nearly 1,400 offices, and 47,000 sales professionals in the franchise Network as of December 31, 2012.

© 2014 BRER Affiliates LLC. An independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates LLC. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.    We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer: m/f/v/d.

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Miranda Opiela
since: 04/2010
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