Renting vs Buying: The Survey Says?

A survey from PulteGroup — one of the nation’s largest home builders — has found a surprising result: Many renters want to buy homes.

Given the source, some caution is in order. Still, this comes as many builders and real-estate agents say the previously moribund housing market is reviving. In some markets, bidding wars – not seen since the housing market crashed – have returned. Rising rents may also be pushing people to consider buying, particularly given low home prices and mortgage rates.

Pulte’s survey found that, among renters who plan to purchase a home in the future, 60% have “increased their intent” to do so from a year ago, meaning they are inclined to hop off the sidelines. Half of those surveyed apparently “like being able to call themselves homeowners,” while 44% “view it as a good financial investment.” (That figure seems a bit high since home values are down by a third or more from the peak.)

More believable are the survey’s findings on why people aren’t buying: More than half think they don’t have enough money for a down payment, while nearly 30% believe renting is cheaper than buying. More than 20% cite uncertainty with employment status as a deterrent to buying a home.

Pulte worked with Russell Research to conduct the survey online from March 23–26 among adults across the United States. Figures for gender, age, and geography were weighted where necessary to be a representative sample of the nation’s population.

By Dawn Wotapka
Source: WSJ


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