Trend Watch: More Renters Are Ready to Become Buyers

Photo of a row of pastel-color homes in San Francisco
Home ownership is increasingly on the mind of renters.

Deep inside a home renter lurks a potential home buyer. And as the housing industry climbs toward firm footing, renters are thinking more about owning a piece of property they can call home.

A new survey from Pulte Group, one of the nation’s largest home builders, says renters are more interested in buying a home today than they were a year ago.

The survey found that among renters who plan to purchase a home sometime in the future, 60 percent have “increased their intent to do so” from a year ago. A similar percentage intends to buy a home within the next two years.

The news comes as many economists and market observers believe the struggling housing industry has reached bottom and begun a solid recovery. Homes remain especially affordable, and interest rates are still near record lows.

Rental prices, meanwhile, are sky-high and still climbing in most markets – especially here in the Bay Area. A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that rents in much of the Bay Area are the least affordable in the country.

Those skyrocketing rents are helping convince some Bay Area renters that buying might be better. Other reasons Pulte found in favor of buying: people like to call themselves homeowners; it’s a good financial investment; and they need more space for an expanding family.

Consider moving from renting to buying? Start here:

  • Do the math and compare the benefits of owning versus renting, including tax benefits and extra storage space. Our mortgage calculators make crunching the numbers easier.
  • Get your finances in order, line up your financing, and start saving for a down payment. Talk to our partners at Mortgage Services Professionals to get started.
  • Finally, when you’re ready to find your dream home, work with an experienced real estate professional.

(Photo courtesy of Seafaringwoman, via Flickr)

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