[i] The ZHCI is computed by Pulsenomics from data compiled by the Zillow-sponsored U.S. Housing Confidence Survey (HCS), consisting of more than 10,000 interviews with adult landline and cellphone users nationwide, collecting more than 300,000 consumer responses pertaining to the real estate market where each survey respondent lives. The headline Housing Confidence Index is comprised of three sub-indices: the Housing Market Conditions Index, measuring recent and prevailing home value trends and current buying/selling conditions; the Housing Expectations Index, which gauges expected changes in local home values, the overall affordability of homeownership and the relative value of homeownership; and the Homeownership Aspirations Index, which measures consumers’ plans to buy and their attitudes toward the social value of homeownership. To view [or download] all 256 index values that comprise the ZHCI data set, or to learn more about the ZHCI calculation methodology, please visit Zillow.com/research or pulsenomics.com.
[ii] At least 500 HCS questionnaires are completed within each of the 20 metropolitan areas where Pulsenomics conducts this survey research. For each edition of the HCS, Pulsenomics compiles more than 300,000 response data points that are recorded within the 10,000 completed questionnaires. At a 95% confidence interval, the theoretical margin of sampling error for an aggregated, household-weighted sample of 10,000 (comprised of 20 metro-level probability samples of 500 each) is +/- 1.2%. The theoretical margin of sampling error for a probability sample of 500 drawn from a single U.S. metro area population is +/- 4.4%.
[iii] In 17 of 20 metros surveyed, at least 90 percent of surveyed renters who said they want to buy in the coming year indicated they were “confident” or “somewhat confident” they could afford it.In Seattle, 82 percent indicated confidence, and in Dallas and San Francisco, 84 percent indicated confidence.
[iv] For purposes of this analysis, we label current renters that plan to purchase a home as “first-time” homebuyers. We acknowledge that a portion of current renters may have owned a home in the past. However, this share cannot be calculated from the data analyzed, and the majority of renters that do purchase in the next year will be doing so for the first time.
[v] The inaugural U.S. Housing Confidence Survey was fielded between Jan. 6 2014 and Jan. 13 2014.