61 per cent of Americans believe the housing crisis isn’t over
Despite still being confident in the housing market as a great investment many Americans are concerned about being able to afford to buy a home. That’s according to a survey released by MacArthur which found that 41 per cent of Americans say we are still “in the middle” of a housing crisis and 20 per cent say that “the worst is yet to come”.
“Decent housing at an affordable price remains a challenge for an increasing number of Americans, even after the recession has formally ended,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “It is disturbing that people feel the American dream and prospects for social mobility are receding. This survey is a wake-up call. People want and expect solutions to the housing crisis to be a higher priority for both national and local leaders alike.”
The figures show a decline in pessimism since last year (when 70 per cent felt the crisis was still ongoing) and 2013 (77 per cent) however it shows the deep-rooted fear that many Americans have following the massive impact of the recession. Respondents’ own personal experiences are key to the sentiment; 55 per cent say that have made at least one sacrifice or trade-off to meet rent or mortgage payments in the last three years; 21 per cent have taken a second job to make ends meet; 17 per cent have stopped retirement saving; 14 per cent have credit card debt; 12 per cent have cut back on nutritious food. These sacrifices are most prominent among renters (73 per cent).
Distressed properties fall to 10 per cent of all sales
New figures from RealtyTrac show that distressed properties make up 10 per cent of all sales in 2015, down from April last year when 15 per cent were. Leading the list of distressed markets that remain strongest the MSA of Allentown and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that also includes Easton, New Jersey. It has a distressed discount of 66 per cent. The population of more than 823,000, with 342,000 total properties, has seen its distressed sales median price drop from $68,000 in February 2014 to just under $47,000 in February 2015, a year-over-year decline of 31 per cent.
Rounding out the top five MSAs, in order, are Toledo, Ohio (62 per cent decline), Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio (61 per cent decline), Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Michigan (60 per cent decline), and the MSA that includes Memphis, Tennessee and parts of Mississippi and Arkansas (57 per cent decline).
Massachusetts pending home sales increased in May
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors says that the spring market continues to pick up as pending home sales increased 35 per cent from the same time last year. “The competitive spring market has encouraged buyers to make their best offers possible to secure a home because of the low inventory,” said MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald, broker/owner of Fitzgerald Real Estate in Greenfield. “We hope more home sellers join the market to help meet the buyer demand.”