Despite record low mortgage rates and government policy aimed at promoting homeownership, the majority of Americans would rather stay clear of the housing market. According to a survey done by FindLaw.com, a Thomson Reuters company, 63% of respondents said they are steered away from buying a home because the current economic conditions. Only 8% said they are more likely to buy a home because of the state of the economy. About one quarter, 28%, said economic conditions do not sway their opinion about purchasing a home. “The current economic situation has greatly changed the dynamics of the housing market,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. “Stricter lending requirements are often making it more difficult for many people to obtain mortgages. High unemployment rates are raising concerns about housing appreciation, affordability and foreclosures. Together, these factors are causing many people to shy away from the idea of buying a house.” The number of survey respondents that said they were less likely to buy a home because of the economy was significantly higher for people with annual incomes less than $50,000 than other income ranges. Statistics regarding renting an apartment or home reflected a similar sentiment. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents said the current economic conditions make them less likely to rent, while only 13% said they are more likely. The economy did not affect the decision to rent for 31% of people who took the survey. Write to Christine Ricciardi.
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