A recent poll showed that Americans continue to grapple with uncertainty about the housing market, with 58 per cent of U.S. adults expecting recovery to take at least another two years.
The online survey, released by Trulia.com and RealtyTrac are the latest results of an ongoing survey tracking homebuyers’ attitudes toward foreclosed homes.
As a result of the recent robo-signing debacle, half of U.S. adults expressed that they now have less faith in mortgage lenders, banks and the government. Another 35 per cent believe the robo-signing issue will delay the housing market’s recovery, while only six per cent of U.S. adults think the robo-signing issue will have no effect on the recovery of the housing market.
“More and more, American homeowners, sellers and buyers are tamping down their expectations for a swift recovery in the housing market and bracing themselves for a long, slow climb back to a healthy real estate market. Fifty-eight percent believe recovery will happen after 2012 and more than one in five U.S. adults believe recovery won’t happen until 2015 or later,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and chief executive officer of Trulia. “Government incentives have come and gone and historic lows in interest rates have done little to spur recovery. Then, as if prospective buyers and sellers needed more to be concerned about, the robo-signing issue caused a ‘what’s next?’ fear to surface in the minds of consumers who, frankly, have lost faith in banks and their government to make good decisions.”
Nearly half (48 per cent) of homeowners with a mortgage admitted that they would consider walking away if their mortgage was underwater, an increase compared with May 2010, when only 41 per cent said they would consider walking away if their mortgage was under water. Interestingly, men (57 per cent) are more likely than women (40 per cent) to consider strategic default as an option for dealing with negative equity.
If they became unable to pay the mortgage payments on their current primary residence, two-thirds of U.S. adults with mortgages said they would consider calling the lender and trying to modify the terms of the loan as their first option. The next most popular solution is to have a tenant move in to contribute to the mortgage, but only 10 per cent of U.S. adults would do this.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of U.S. adults are at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed property, up from 45 per cent in May 2010. Despite the rising interest in buying a foreclosed home, an increasing number of U.S. adults also recognize negative aspects to buying a foreclosure. Over the past six months, the number of U.S. adults who believe there are downsides to buying foreclosed properties has increased to 81 percent, from 78 percent in May 2010.