More than half of homeowners in a recent survey believe their local housing market has improved.
According to Digital Risk, 91 percent of homeowners and 83 percent of renters reported that homeownership is a good investment. Eighty-seven percent of homeowners reported their appraisal values are either staying the same or increasing. Sixteen percent reported their home gained more than 20 percent in value.
While homeownership remains an aspiration for many renters, cost remains an obstacle. Forty percent of renters reported they could not afford a down payment on a home, with 37 percent citing insufficient income. However, 40 percent said debt forgiveness would lead them to purchase a home, while 36 percent said a major event like a child or marriage would lead to homeownership, while 31 percent reported credit requirements would lead them to buy a home.
The mortgage process also remains a mystery to many. Yet, 22 percent of homeowners and 13 percent of renters thought the mortgage application process has improved over the past decade.
“There’s no question that the housing sector continues to be a major driver of growth and recovery in the U.S. economy,” said Co-Founder and Managing Director of Digital Risk Jeff Taylor, who is also a board member of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “It’s important to remember how far we’ve come in a decade. The fact that the American dream of owning a home is once again considered a smart investment suggests the housing market has years of strong performance ahead of it – provided that more borrowers clearly understand the criteria and ‘pathway’ to obtaining a mortgage.”
While many homebuyers are comfortable looking online on their phones for information pertaining to purchasing a home, when push comes to shove, most prefer to not do everything via their phone. Seventy percent of homeowners and two-thirds of renters said they would not be comfortable completing the homebuying process via their phone. Two-thirds of homeowners and 59 percent of renters would complete an application online, while about half would prefer to speak to someone.
“Today’s challenge for lenders is to harness technology to make the process safer, more convenient and faster, without losing sight of the need for a human touch,” added Taylor. “While they may trust smartphone apps to find a good restaurant, get directions or even hunt for a home, many borrowers still want contact with an experienced person to help guide them through the mortgage process.”