May 7, 2008


Surveys Find Consumers More Upbeat About Home Buying
U.S. consumers remain relatively gloomy in their assessment of the state of the nation’s economy, according to a poll released on April 16 by Reuters/Zogby, but by a small majority they agree that now is a good time to buy a new home.

Compared to a baseline of 100 when the Reuters/Zogby Index was established last August, consumer confidence was measured at 95.5 this month, rebounding from 87.7 in March.

Nearly three in four of those surveyed (71%) said they believed that the U.S. economy is currently in a recession, a slight decrease from 74% during the preceding month.

Slightly more than half of those polled (54%) said that now is a good time to buy a new home, although 42% disagreed.

“Americans are still experiencing the doldrums,” said John Zogby, president and CEO of Zogby International. Responses in April were slightly more upbeat than in March, but “the numbers are still very negative,” he noted.

“In essence, Americans are telling us things are not worse than they were last month and they might be only slightly better than at their lowest point,” Zogby said. “It appears that in typical fashion, people have adjusted to bad news and are saying that things are just not getting worse.”

Beazer Reports ‘Smart Time to Buy’ Trend

A survey released at the end of last month by Beazer Homes found that more consumers are recognizing today’s home buying opportunities even in the face of skepticism over the nation’s economy.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said that with good credit and a down payment, the time is right to buy a home, a 20% upswing from a similar survey in January.

Nearly three out of four of those surveyed by Beazer (74%) agreed that the availability of homes for sale combined with special incentives make this a true “buyer’s market.”

Sixteen percent of survey respondents reported that they planned to purchase a new home as their primary residence in the next 12 months — a 45% increase over the January survey results — and some 28% said they were currently saving for a down payment.

Of those seasoned buyers who had purchased one or more homes in their lifetime, three-quarters advised renters to buy a home as soon as they were financially able to do so, and 62% of them agreed that current mortgage interest rates make this a “favorable time to purchase” a home. By comparison, only 44% of prospective first-time buyers recognized the advantage of today’s lower rates.

Seasoned buyers contemplating purchasing a new home said they were looking for a better location (28%), a bigger home (25%) and more modern features (18%), according to the Beazer survey results.

First-time buyers ranked the need for a bigger home (28%), investment potential (27%) and the desire for a better location (23%) as their primary motivations for looking for a new home.

Source: Nations Building News, April 21, 2008


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Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.