RE/MAX surveyed 1,022 of its residential experts in its quarterly RE/MAX Market Insights, and it found numerous signs of a market recovery in real estate, from pricing data to sales activity.
Here’s what we thought were six important takeaways from the survey:
- Of those surveyed, four out of five said home values will not fall any more, and nearly 70 percent said prices will rise by the end of 2012.
- Eighty percent of agents said demand for lower-priced properties was either good or very good. Demand was not as strong for higher-priced homes nationally, but Jim Merrion, the regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois, said he’s seen a “much healthier upper-end surge” in his region in 2012.
- Roughly one in every three buyers, the survey found, are first-time buyers, with another third being down-sizers or move-uppers and the last third investors.
- The biggest challenges first-time buyers currently face are adequate credit scores, down payment requirements and a falling inventory of homes, the latter point one we have extensively covered.
- Buyer priorities remained consistent – quality schools, the condition of the home and the property’s size were all top priority, while public transportation, walkability and energy efficiency were the lowest.
- One in five buyers pays cash, with an average discount of 15 percent on the home.