A recent survey conducted by Trulia and RealtTrac found that the negative sentiment towards buying foreclosed properties has decreased compared to one year ago. With 78 percent of U.S. adults believing there are downsides to buying foreclosed properties compared to 85 percent in May 2009. Among those who think there are negative aspects to purchasing a foreclosed home, the top concerns about purchasing a foreclosed property between May 2010 and May 2009 include:
|Negative Sentiment||May 2010||May 2009|
|Hidden Costs||68 percent||71 percent|
|Process is risky||49 percent||46 percent|
|Home will lose value||35 percent||31 percent|
“Although fewer consumers expressed interest in buying a foreclosed home than a year ago, the actual sales of bank-owned properties (REOs), along with sales of properties in the foreclosure process, continue to increase — accounting for more than 30 percent of total sales in the first quarter of 2010 according to our data,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president for RealtyTrac. “We anticipate that there will be an increased number of both REO purchases and short sales throughout the rest of the year as the most active buying segments – first time home buyers and investors – continue to look for bargains.”
“It appears that potential homebuyers are taking a more realistic view of foreclosure purchasing,” Sharga continued. “Buying a foreclosure property still provides an opportunity for dramatic savings on a home, but the time and effort involved in executing a short sale, bidding against other buyers for an REO, or the need to do renovations may be issues for buyers not as focused on getting the best price.”
The Bank-Owned Discount
The survey also found that 18 percent of U.S. adults expect bank-owned homes to offer a realistic price discount of less than 25 percent off the value of a similar home that was not in foreclosure. However, not all consumers have realistic expectations, with 36 percent saying that they expect to receive a discount of 50 percent or more when purchasing a bank-owned property. Most consumers (95 percent) would expect to pay less for a foreclosed home than for a similar home for sale that is not in foreclosure.
The survey also found some interesting demographics of who is buying the foreclosed homes.
Renters are showing strong interest in buying foreclosed properties, with 57 percent at least somewhat likely to purchase a foreclosed home in the future. In comparison, only 40 percent of current homeowners would consider buying a foreclosure in the future. Additionally, the likelihood to consider purchasing a foreclosure decreases with age: 65 percent of renters ages 18-34, 63 percent of renters between the ages of 35-44, and 54 percent of renters ages 45-54 are at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosure, compared to only 31 percent of renters 55 years and older.