An over-whelming majority of U.S. home owners trust real estate agents to handle their property transactions and will use agents services again, a new Housing Predictor survey has found.
The telephone survey of 511 homeowners scattered throughout the nation was conducted during the first two weeks of December at a time when the U.S. housing market is troubled by falling prices as a result of the credit crunch. Housing Predictor regularly tracks more than 250 local housing markets.
The financial storm caused by fallout from the credit crisis has sent home prices reeling to lower levels in the majority of housing markets. Foreclosures have hit record highs and are only forecast to worsen in coming months as a result of more than 2-million adjustable rate mortgages scheduled to be reset.
Some 82% of those surveyed said they were pleased with their previous real estate agents service, and would use a real estate agent in the future. Only 18% said they did not intend to use a real estate agent buying or selling property in the future. Interestingly, 94% of those who do not intend to use an agents services in the future qualify for a maximum purchase price of only $150,000 or less, which is more than $70,000 below the national median price of a home.
The survey also indicated four out of five consumers had used the services of the same agent at least twice before, indicating they were pleased with their agents ability to handle their real estate dealings marketing or selling property.
A Housing Predictor survey conducted online last May blamed mortgage fraud as the culprit for the mortgage crisis by an over-whelming majority of Americans. However, since then a separate Housing Predictor survey showed Americans blame the lending industry itself for artificially manipulating the nations housing markets by re-selling too many mortgages.
The White House, the U.S. Treasury Department and Congress are all working on programs to improve the real estate markets. However, more than 2-million homes will be foreclosed as a result of the crisis by the end of the year, many of which were purchased using subprime mortgages. But an increasingly large percentage of those now facing foreclosure are conventional mortgage borrowers.
More than 50% of those now in default on mortgages are investors, who have seen their property values fall so much that they have chosen to walk away from the property and face foreclosure rather than pay a higher mortgage.
The housing crisis has widespread implications for the U.S. economy as a whole. All but two recessions in the 20th century have developed as the result of falling real estate prices.