The dynamics of the housing market, which had grown over the past few years fueled by high demand, limited inventory, and low mortgage rates, shifted gears by the end of 2018, according to a study by Trulia that looked at how last year shaped the 2019 outlook of homebuyers, sellers, and renters.
The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the U.S. revealed that while Americans still dream of owning a home, the dream was getting more distant for younger adults who made up the biggest chunk of first-time buyers. Home sellers were also less optimistic as home price appreciation slows.
Despite the spate of natural disasters in 2017 and last year, the study found that the fear of wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, and floods aren't deterring homebuyers. In fact, 52 percent of those surveyed said that they are no more or less concerned than in past years about the potential threat of natural disasters affecting their home.
What they are less optimistic about, however, is the overall housing market, the study found. Even though they intend to buy a home regardless of the current housing market trends, 19 percent of those surveyed said they would do so only next year, up from 16 percent a year ago. However, a majority (60 percent) said they planned to wait until after 2020 to buy a home.
Among home sellers, 29 percent said they believed 2019 would be a better year to sell than 2018, compared to 21 percent who said next year would be worse than 2018. However, last year American home sellers were much more bullish on selling, the study revealed, with 31 percent saying this year would be better than last.
As to what would be a key factor to hold back homebuyers this year, the study listed money as a key challenge for would-be homeowners. Nearly all (92 percent) of the U.S. renters surveyed said that while they wished to buy, they perceived barriers in homeownership related to personal finances.
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