Survey: 87% of First-Time Homebuyers Don’t Foresee Payment Troubles

Original Post Date: June 10, 2011

By: Carrie Bay

Prospective homebuyers cite worries about future unemployment, concerns about property affordability, and the local economic outlook as issues that hold them back from jumping into the market, according to an industry survey commissioned by Genworth.

But the Virginia-based mortgage insurer says these economic concerns have not translated into excessive mortgage stress among recent U.S. homebuyers.

According to the survey, 87 percent of Americans who bought their first home in the past 12 months expect to easily meet their mortgage repayment obligations in the coming year.

Genworth debuted its new International Mortgage Trends Report Friday based on a global survey of current and aspiring homebuyers aimed at gaining local insight into key world markets. More than 9,000 respondents were interviewed from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The company says the U.S. is the most optimistic among all the markets surveyed about buying a home. According to the findings, nearly two-thirds of Americans polled believe now is a good time to buy a home.

Genworth says indebtedness colors how households around the world view their financial situation and how they approach buying a home. Western countries tended to have higher levels of debt, but were also more comfortable taking on debt.

Of the many factors that influence the decision to buy a home, Genworth notes that consumer confidence is one of the most important.

The company’s survey found that homebuyer confidence has eroded due to property market instability and worries about personal finances, leading consumers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Still, nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed believe now is a good time to buy a home for those who can afford it.