RISMEDIA, October 6, 2009—In September 2009, more renters took the plunge to become homeowners but fewer current homeowners opted to move up to more desirable homes or neighborhoods even though these homeowners acknowledge home prices are a good value, according to a new survey commissioned by Relocation.com.
Seventy percent of respondents said homes are more affordable today than in recent months. Further, 69% indicated they believe the economy is improving with 19%- the largest proportion—citing declining home values as a primary reason for this improvement. But Americans are still cautious: only 26% of survey respondents took advantage of these more affordable prices to move to a bigger house or neighborhood, down 24 percentage points from June.
And while the Relocation.com survey found that the number of homeowners moving to a new home remained the same as it had in an earlier survey conducted in June, the number of renters finally moving from the sidelines to purchase a home increased by 3 percentage points in September. Moving due to job loss or foreclosure stabilized at 7%.
“Although it’s too early to tell if this is a long-term trend, it’s interesting to see that renters have found reason to become homebuyers,” observed Sharon Asher, chairman and founder, Relocation.com. “We’re also interested to see that there’s been a 16% increase in respondents who said they hired a professional mover, which may be another indication of an improving economy.”
Compared to Relocation.com’s June 2009 survey, in September, more respondents said they were moving for career-related reasons—to begin college, start a new job—which is likely more due to seasonal trends than attributable to economic factors.
More value for home purchases, lower mortgage interest rates and the tax credit for new homebuyers were cited as factors responsible for respondents’ belief that the economy is starting to back away from the financial ledge.
“In past years, we’d see the number of people moving into new homes calming down toward end of year,” noted Asher. “But this year has been singular in so many ways, it’s possible we may see something different. We’ll be tracking closely to see if buyers are moving into new homes for the holidays.”
For more information, visit www.relocation.com.