Ten percent of Americans, 23 million people, are planning to move to a new home, condo or apartment in 2012, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Of those, just over 10 million plan to make a housing purchase. While only a fraction of the population plans to pick up and move, the majority of homeowners, 70%, have some form of home improvement project on the docket this year.
For the full report, and past Spending & Saving Tracker surveys, click here.
On the Move
Among those who seek new homes, there’s a relatively even split between buyers and renters: expected buyers—forty-four percent (44%)—only slightly outnumber those looking to rent, a total of forty-two percent (42%).For those planning to sell, their open houses may attract guests who only seek inspiration. One in six (17%) have “crashed” an open house with no intent to buy. Most (65%) chalk up the practice to curiosity, but 15% of house crashers see open houses as an opportunity to be inspired and get new design ideas. Consistent with the 2011 findings, what’s impeding more home buying and selling activity is a lack of confidence in the housing market. More than half (52%) are “not very/not at all confident” that they would get the asking prices for their home, if it were on the market today. Perhaps that’s why sixty-five percent are willing to make concessions to help sell their home, including paying for buyer’s closing costs (15%), offering to make requested repairs (29%), offering to include appliances (41%) and offering to include furniture (12%). "While confidence in the real estate market has not changed significantly year over year, we are seeing an increase in consumer intent to spend on cosmetic improvements,” said Claire Bennett, EVP Loyalty & Membership Benefits, American Express."Purchases of new furniture, appliances and even re-doing a room or outdoor space are all part of the upgrade equation."
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