Survey Shows Homeowners Unfazed by Mortgage Troubles
A recent survey by the online brokerage ShareBuilder found that a majority of Americans are much less concerned about the current state of the housing/mortgage market.
The survey found that 67 percent of the respondents were “just as confident” in their ability to make mortgage payments – even in the current declining housing/mortgage market.
With credit getting tighter and many major lenders having to deal with loans that might have not been made in a less boisterous market, the same survey showed 28 percent of those homeowners surveyed planned to increase their spending on home improvements. Those concerned about the housing market are instead cutting back on entertainment and discretionary spending.
Real estate agents in many areas are noticing a greater willingness by people planning to sell their houses to
spend some money to get them on the market. Two years ago, when houses were virtually selling themselves, an
agent’s suggestions about making even minor repairs or cosmetic changes went unheeded.
A recent survey of members by the American Institute of Architects showed that for the third consecutive
year, home offices are the most popular special function room being requested by clients. And, while billings at residential architectural firms are representative of the slowdown in the overall housing sector, architectural firms are reporting steady backlogs for projects with an average of 5.3 months of work under contract. The market environment for home improvement projects, both for additions and alterations as well as kitchen and bath remodels, is reported as very healthy even though growth is not as strong as it was a year ago, according to the AIA.
Still, AIA chief economist Kermit Baker says that overall, the greatest declines over the past year are reported by residential architects in the Midwest, while those in the Northeast report some improvement.
American Institute of Architecture, September 2007