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TRULIA SURVEY: 75 PERCENT OF AMERICANS SAY IT’S BETTER TO BUY A HOME NOW THAN NEXT YEAR, WHILE ONLY 32 PERCENT AGREE NOW IS A BETTER TIME TO SELL

Trulia Identifies Top Consumer Real Estate Regrets To Help Today’s House Hunters Prepare For This Spring’s Hypercompetitive Market

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17, 2013 –Trulia Inc. (NYSE: TRLA), a leading online marketplace for home buyers, sellers, renters, and real estate professionals, today released the results of its Real Estate Regrets survey. The latest findings reveal the most common housing mistakes today’s home buyers and renters should avoid during spring house hunting season. Harris Interactive conducted the online survey on behalf of Trulia among 2,130 U.S. adults, age 18 and over, between March 22 and 26, 2013.

Eager Buyers Matched with Patient Sellers Fueling Today’s Competitive Market

Buyers feel the pressure of rising home prices this spring: 75 percent of Americans say it’s better to buy a home now than a year from now. However, fewer than to 1 in 3 Americans (32 percent) agree it would be better to sell now than a year from now. Patient sellers, along with little new construction, fewer foreclosures, and underwater borrowers, have pushed inventory to a 12-year low, creating a seller’s market. This year’s housing season will likely cause aggressive buyers to scramble in order to try to win tough bidding wars and overcome stiff competition–putting them at risk of making real estate mistakes they will regret.

Top Real Estate Regrets: Renting instead of Buying, Small Home Size, and Lack of Financial Security

More than half of Americans who were involved in the process of choosing their current home (52 percent) have at least one regret about their current home or the process of choosing it. A common theme of the top regrets is Americans not investing enough in their home. Top regrets include choosing a home that’s too small, renters wishing they had bought instead of renting, homeowners regretting not remodeling more, and not being financially secure. When comparing homeowners to renters who were both involved in the process of choosing their current home, renters are more likely to have housing regrets – 56 percent versus 50 percent. Among different age groups who were involved in the process of choosing their current home, Millennial homeowners (age 18 to 34) are far more likely to have housing regrets than homeowners age 55 or older – 75 percent versus 36 percent.

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Top 5 Renter Regrets

% of renters (involved in home-choosing process) with regrets

1

I wish I had bought instead of rented

42%

2

I wish I had chosen a larger home

39%

3

I wish I had been more financially secure before I decided

27%

4

I wish I had more information about the home before I decided

21%

5

I wish I had chosen a neighborhood with a shorter commute to work

18%

 

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Top 5 Homeowner Regrets

% of owners (involved in home-choosing process) with regrets

1

I wish I had chosen a larger home

34%

2

I wish I had done more remodeling when I bought the home than I did

27%

3

I wish I had more information about the home before I decided

22%

4

I wish I had put more money down for the down payment

18%

5

I wish I had been more financially secure before I decided

16%

Note: excludes homeowners and renters not involved in the process of choosing their current home. Respondents could select as many as apply.

Recent Home Buyers Express Less Regret vs. 2003-2009, but Tide May Change Due to Low Spring Housing Inventory

As the market improved, housing regrets became less common than they were during the housing bubble. Among homebuyers who moved into their current home between 2010 and 2013, fewer had regrets compared to those who moved into their current home from 2003 to 2009 (55% vs. 63%, respectively). Better home affordability, lower mortgage rates, and conservative bank lending probably helped recent buyers avoid major housing regrets in comparison to those who purchased when prices were higher and lending practices were more lax. However, the pressure caused by this season’s tight inventory may rush today’s buyers into real estate decisions they might later regret. 

Homeowners With Regrets About Their Home

Year moved into current home

% of homeowners who have regrets

2002 or earlier

43%

2003-2006

63%

2007-2009

63%

2010-2013

55%

Note: excludes homeowners not involved in the process of choosing their home.

PRE-APPROVED QUOTES

 FROM JED KOLKO, CHIEF ECONOMIST

  • “As prices rise in 2013, buyers are impatient while would-be sellers are holding back. Faced with limited inventory, many buyers will feel pressure to act fast – but snap decisions often end in regrets. Homeowners’ biggest regrets are wishing they bought a bigger home and wishing they remodeled more. Many buyers would have fewer regrets if they waited until they were in strong enough financial shape to afford a house that really meets their needs.”
  • “Although the recession, tight credit, and foreclosures have lowered homeownership in America, people would still buy – and buy big – if they could. Many current renters wish they had bought, but very few current homeowners wish they had rented. Furthermore, homeowners are three times more likely to wish they had purchased a larger home than a smaller home. Even after the housing crisis, Americans’ main housing regrets are that they didn’t invest more in their homes.”

FROM MICHAEL CORBETT, TRULIA’S CONSUMER SPOKESPERSON

  • Real estate is back after five to seven years and the way to approach the market has completely changed. New real estate tech tools have revolutionized the home buying and renting process, especially in today’s market with tight inventory and fluctuating prices. Consumers need to utilize online resources such as Trulia.com to stay up to date on national and local price trends, as well as find local scoop on neighborhood crime, schools, and commutes – all in an effort to help make the best decisions in a pressure-filled environment.”
  • “In today’s competitive, low inventory housing market, consumers may find themselves giving in to homes they don’t really love. Fully prepping for the future will help you lock-in a home type and size that you truly want and will feel good investing for. Once you’re ready to hit the market, going mobile with Trulia’s real estate and mortgage apps help with getting a leg up on the competition by providing newer price reductions, interest rates and available home listings all in real time. Arming yourself with the best available resources help avoid making mistakes when you’re under the pressure to make a move.”

MULTIMEDIA

  • To read the full analysis of the survey result, click here.
  • To download infographics illustrating the findings above, click here.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Trulia from March 22-26, 2013 among 2,130 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,370 are homeowners and 706 are renters. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr@trulia.com.

 

ABOUT TRULIA, INC.

Trulia (NYSE: TRLA) gives home buyers, sellers, owners, and renters the inside scoop on properties, places, and real estate professionals. Trulia has unique info on the areas people want to live that can't be found anywhere else: users can learn about agents, neighborhoods, schools, crime, commute times, and even ask the local community questions.  Real estate professionals use Trulia to connect with millions of transaction-ready buyers and sellers each month via our hyper local advertising services, social recommendations, and top-rated mobile real estate apps. Trulia is headquartered in downtown San Francisco. Trulia is a registered trademark of Trulia, Inc.

For further information: For more information contact Vanessa Villatoro | vvillatoro@trulia.com | 415-748-3808


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