Survey says ...
If this sounds like deja vu, it's because "great time to buy" has become a mantra with homebuilders and the National Association of Realtors.
Beazer said it surveyed 548 people ages 25 to 72 with a household income of at least $40,000. Other findings from the survey, which the company says has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points:
--Though nearly two-thirds think it's an ideal time to buy, just 39 percent agreed with this statement: "Home buyers who are waiting for prices to go lower are missing out on one of the greatest home-buying markets in recent history." Perhaps that's because 70 percent don't think prices will begin to stabilize in the next 12 months.
--4 percent said they were "currently looking" for a house; 7 percent intend to buy within the next 12 months. (Thirty-five percent said they "don't ever" expect to look for a home to buy, presumably a mix of eternal renters and people who own a home and don't want to move.)
--50 percent said homeownership, land and/or real estate was the safest form of long-term investment, compared with "fully funded 401(k)," government bonds, stocks and "other." The next highest was fully-funded 401(k), with 28 percent.
--71 percent agreed with this statement: "For those with a good credit history, there are plenty of home mortgage options available."
--55 percent agreed with this statement: "The negative publicity surrounding the housing market has kept many potential home buyers from purchasing a home." Thirty-four percent think the media has "over-inflated" that negative publicity. (Speaking of negative publicity ... oh, and this too ...)
--"The survey found 70 percent of experienced homebuyers -- those who have purchased at least one home -- urging renters to purchase a home as soon as he or she is financially able to do so," the press release notes. It doesn't mention whether some of those experienced homebuyers are hoping to sell their homes to said renters. (Local agents say that some of the housing slowdown is the result of sellers waiting for a buyer before they themselves buy, a domino-effect situation.)
--Half the respondents said their homes have increased in value over the past two years. Thirty percent believe their values haven't changed over that time, and about 20 percent say their homes are worth less.