With the housing market already slogging through a slump of historic proportions, a recently-released Trulia study shows that the financial crisis threatens to delay a potential comeback in the sector.
More than 70 percent of non-homeowners surveyed say they have no plans to purchase a new home in the next year. Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) who fall in the 18-34 year old demographic—the sector thought to encompass most first-time homebuyers—confirm that the reason they do not own a home right now is because it is too cost-prohibitive. Among those aged 35-44, 41 percent of respondents polled confirm that concerns about being able to qualify for a home loan is keeping them on the sidelines of homeownership. In fact, only 12 percent of non-homeowners say they expect to buy a home in the next 12 months.
"It appears that the financial and mortgage meltdowns really have had their greatest impact on the sector of American consumers who haven't yet bought a home," said Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia, which plans to make its "American Dream" survey a recurring measurement and barometer of consumer attitudes toward buying and selling real estate.
"This combination of the mortgage and Wall Street crisis is tantamount to a one- two punch that has knocked the wind out of the American home buying public. The question is how quickly the American psyche will heal. Despite this short term pain, half of all Americans believe that home ownership is still the cornerstone of the American dream. It is the dream of homeownership that—in the end—may help the market rebound."