Government and industry experts agree, consumer interest in buying homes is an essential element of a healthy real estate market, and absorption of today's bloated housing supply is critical to recovery. These market fundamentals, though, are moving farther and farther out of reach as the American Dream of homeownership fades into the background for many.[IMAGE]
""A new study"":http://info.trulia.com/index.php?s=43&item=96 from real estate data provider ""Trulia"":http://www.trulia.com found that one out of four renters do not plan on buying a home -- ever. Of those renters who do see a home purchase in their future, 68 percent said it would be more than two years before they make that investment.
Trulia says this reluctance to buy could potentially drag out the real estate market's recovery timeline further than many have predicted and the domino effect of such a delay could pose an enormous threat to the nation's overall economic health.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""Renters converting into buyers are crucial to turning around the housing slump, but the current economic crisis is causing people to become very hesitant to get off the fence and buy a home,"" commented Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia.
Flint says the government needs to turn its focus to job creation and job security, in addition to stemming foreclosures, in order to restore the American public's confidence in both the real estate market and the economy.
According to Trulia's study, 79 percent of the renters who do plan to become homeowners said a change in their financial situation could motivate them to buy a home within the next 12 months.
The circumstantial changes cited most frequently as the ""tipping factors"" that would make renters decide to buy were: being able to save enough money for a downpayment, getting a new job, or receiving a promotion or a raise.
Trulia says its survey also revealed that ""the era of the McMansion is over."" Americans are veering away from the large, sprawling homes that had grown popular before the recession.
Those that still harbor homeownership as part of their American Dream expressed a preference for smaller homes, with only 9 percent saying their ideal home size is more than 3,200 square feetÃ¢â‚¬" the same ratio that said they'd like their home to be between 800 and 1,400 square feet. Fifty-five percent of Americans would prefer a home between 1,401 and 2,600 square feet.