More people confident about buying, housing markets in 2019

By Kelly Leighton | March 22, 2019 | 2 min. read

Thirty-six percent of Americans report they plan to buy a home in the next five years, which is an increase of 4 percent year-to-year.

And 24 percent plan to buy in the next year, according to NerdWallet’s 2019 Homebuyer Report. It may have something to do with optimism, as more people are confident about buying a home compared to the last report. Forty-two percent of survey respondents felt that way, up 14 percent from December 2017.

For those that have bought in the past five years, 45 percent reported offering more than listing price. Sixty percent said they had to make more than one offer, while 37 percent had to make at least three, if not more. And many buyers sacrificed. Twenty-six percent reported they knew their new home would need some repairs and 21 percent compromised on the features they wanted. Another 14 percent looked outside their ideal area. Yet, 34 percent reported they felt confident in their purchase.

First-time buyers struggled more than other buyers in this market. Fifty-six percent of first-time buyers reported offering more than the listing price, while only 35 percent of those who have purchased homes in the past did. Fifteen percent of first-time buyers offered more than they were comfortable with, and put in close to four offers before having one accepted. Thirty-four percent of first-time buyers said after their property purchase, they did not feel financially secure, while only 17 percent of non-first-time buyers felt this way.

The report also found that Americans who have lost a home to foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy are open to buying a house again. Twenty percent have yet to buy again, but 58 percent of them plan to purchase again within the next five years, with 74 percent vowing to be more careful about the process.

Still, misconceptions about homeownership remain. Sixty-two percent believe you need a minimum of 20 percent down payment. In reality, the majority of respondents, 72 percent, put less than 20 percent down. Another issue Realtors® can help their clients with is encouraging to shop around for a lender. Half of buyers go with the first lender they meet, and NerdWallet found that buyers could save hundreds of dollars a month shopping around.

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