Consumers peg housing market recovery at 2014 or later: Trulia/RealtyTrac survey
The housing market won't recover until 2014 or later, according to 54% of the people surveyed in a joint Trulia/RealtyTrac consumer housing sentiment survey. Some 40% of renters surveyed said they have no plans to ever buy a home. In a survey conducted six months ago, 42% of respondents expected the market would turn around by 2012 or had already turned around. Now, only 23% continue to think this will happen. The housing sector's continued pain comes from the large overhang of foreclosures on the market, as well as the slow economic recovery, said Peter Flint, CEO of Trulia and Rick Sharga, senior vice president with RealtyTrac, during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "I expect the rest of 2011 to continue to be volatile," Flint said, adding he doesn't expect any noticeable improvement for about 18 months. For someone in the market for a home, the good news is that the spring/summer clearance is in full gear with very affordable housing prices, low mortgage rates and plenty of inventory to choose from. It is more affordable to buy than rent a home in 78% of major U.S. cities, Flint said. "Americans still love a good deal," he said. But the survey also indicates Americans expect better deals than what is available. The survey showed 39% of renters expected a price discount of 50% or more on a foreclosed property, for example. Such bank-owned property currently commands discounts in the range of 30% to 40%. And in a contradiction to a Republican push in Congress to repeal a number of housing programs designed to address the foreclosure crisis, survey respondents said they wanted more, not less government intervention into the housing market. About 45% said the government isn't doing enough to prevent foreclosures, 17% said the government is doing too much, 16% said it's the right amount and 22% were unsure. Foreclosures will continue to weigh down any housing recovery, Sharga said. Banks now have 900,000 REOs on the books and are marketing less than 30% of that inventory, he said. As a result, a backlog of 600,000 properties still needs to reach the market. Another 1.2 million homes are in some stage of foreclosure, and about 4 million homes are in some stage of delinquency, Sharga said. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.