More Americans See the Downside of Foreclosed Home Buying

Potential buyers are looking for big discounts on such properties.


While more foreclosed homes coming on to the market, Americans are growing increasingly wary of buying them, according to a recently-released joint study by Trulia--a U.S. News partner--and RealtyTrac.

The findings suggest that foreclosed home prices may need to go even lower in order to work through the inventory.

In the previous survey conducted seven months ago, 54 percent of all U.S. adults surveyed said they would consider purchasing a foreclosed home, whereas now 47 percent of U.S. adults would consider purchasing a foreclosure, a drop of seven percentage points in only seven months…

During the last seven months, negative sentiment around buying a foreclosure rose. In April of 2008, 69 percent of U.S. adults originally felt that there were negative aspects to purchasing a foreclosed home. In this recent study, conducted during a three-day period in November, 80 percent of U.S. adults are now concerned with negative aspects, citing hidden costs, risky process, home losing value and personal connection with foreclosure as the core concerns. To compensate for perceived risks, consumers expect hefty discounts on foreclosed homes. More than 75 percent of consumers think they should pay at least 25 percent less for a foreclosed home, with three in ten consumers expecting a major discount of at least 50 percent less than a comparable home not in foreclosure.

"What's significant about our findings is that just as the market is being flooded with more foreclosures, homebuyers are more hesitant to buy them. Misinformation around foreclosures abounds and that's dangerous for the market and for homebuyers," said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of Trulia….

[“]Being that the sale of foreclosed properties has been on the rise due to the increased inventory and discounts available on foreclosed homes, it is somewhat counterintuitive — although not totally unexpected — that consumers are more hesitant to purchase a foreclosed property," said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac. "We expect that foreclosures will continue to dominate the market in 2009, and well-educated consumers will be able to find great deals on these properties."

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