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Study Shows Homeowners Are Now Pessimistic and Confused



Not surprising

Harris Interactive and perform a study each quarter that measures how homeowners view their home’s value versus actual market stats. Former studies show homeowners held a belief that their home’s values were steady or rising despite the reality that values were dropping, showing a standard optimism of homeowners (you know the ol’ “well MY house is valuable, *I* made a good investment” line we hear all the time).

In the last quarter of 2009 however, homeowner sentiment has quickly slipped into pessimism, as the report shows that only 20% of homeowners believed their house increased in value in the previous year when they actually increased nationally nearly 30%, according to

Per the map below, Midwesterners lean optimistic, Southerners nearly match reality and Northeastern homeowners are the most pessimistic (click image to enlarge):

homeowner perception

With data that strays so widely, homeowners are clearly confused as they are pounded with the good news/ bad news cycle put forth by bloggers and traditional media. The reality on the ground though is that it IS confusing and no one knows quite where we’re going with forecasting all over the map, just like homeowner sentiment.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Michael Bertoldi

    February 19, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Nice study. Thanks Lani. Look at those southerners grounded in reality. I guess those people in the south just have a good head on their shoulders.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    February 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Lani – Do you think that a lot of this stems from the often conflicting news we’re putting out there via our local agents, large brokerages, local associations, NAR, economists, politicians, pundits, and journalists?

    For instance, when NAR promoted there “now is a great time to buy” taglines, I read plenty of posts by successful agents who fought against that line saying that although there were many great things going on, “great time” really boils down to a personal level.

    …no one knows quite where we’re going with forecasting all over the map…”

    I mis-read your use of the word “map” in the context of what you were saying…I was thinking geographical map rather than meaning with results all over the place. When I did though, it brought up the point of national statistics versus local statistics. I credit Zillow and Harris Interactive for breaking this data down by region, but do you think you’d get the same answer from a homeowner in Miami as you would one in Austin or San Antonio? Do you think Montana views home ownership the same way Arizona, California, and Nevada do?

    • Lani Rosales

      February 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      “Do you think that a lot of this stems from the often conflicting news we’re putting out there via our local agents, large brokerages, local associations, NAR, economists, politicians, pundits, and journalists?”

      I do. I think that there’s nothing sinister about it, but the bottom line is that each large group mentioned above pays big money for their message to be heard and they don’t always align. The reality is that it is (to be cliche) all local- certain areas of Austin have homes that will sit on the market for a year while some hot spots will be snatched up in days or even pre-listing.

      …”do you think you’d get the same answer from a homeowner in Miami as you would one in Austin or San Antonio? Do you think Montana views home ownership the same way Arizona, California, and Nevada do?”

      Absolutely not. As outlined above, even in the same city, perceptions are different. Hell, perception is different even on the same street, depending on which news outlet each resident watches. The data Harris and Zillow provide is important from a big picture perspective since the overall real estate market is a giant ship that is slow to change course, but on a micro level, it serves more as entertainment than anything.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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