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PulteGroup 2012 Surveys Reveal Improved Homebuyer Sentiment

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Dec. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 2012 has been a year of lifestyle changes and improving optimism for those thinking about buying a new home, according to this year's PulteGroup Home Index (PGHI) surveys. 

A summary of the surveys conducted by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) shows that people are putting family first when making plans for their next move.  Whether it's planning for more kids or anticipating relatives to move in, the 2012 survey results reveal that the economy is no match for family priorities.

"Across the board we are seeing more confidence in the market in general.  Also, more families are making a deliberate choice to build a better bond among the generations and live closer to family and friends," said Deborah Wahl Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of PulteGroup.  "PulteGroup conducts the quarterly surveys in conjunction with our ongoing consumer research efforts to keep a pulse on consumer trends and understand what's important to homebuyers and how they truly live in and enjoy their homes."   

Four PGHI surveys were conducted in 2012 and focused on a myriad of topics from retirement to first-time homebuyers. This year's results revealed a variety of trends, highlighting consumer confidence in the economy and housing market:

  • 61 percent of still-working Baby Boomers plan to retire in less than 10 years and aren't delaying retirement plans.  73 percent say they are financially prepared to retire in 10 years or less.
  • 61 percent of renters plan to buy a home within the next two years.
  • Top reasons renters have increased their interest in buying a home:  They like being able to call themselves homeowners (49 percent) and they view it as a good financial investment (44 percent).
  • Renters are buying homes with more space for family/kids (36 percent) while current homeowners ages 18 – 34 want a larger home for their growing families (68 percent).

The surveys also show the importance of family across all generations, and some significant changes in family dynamics that often influence their next new home plans:

  • Homebuyers do not want to sacrifice family when buying a new home.  Only 21 percent of homeowners said moving away from their family would be a trade-off to get their "dream" home.
  • Twice as many households as today expect to eventually share their home with their adult children or aging parents.  31 percent anticipate at least one adult child moving back home; and 32 percent anticipate an aging parent living with them. 
  • Family bonding was cited as the top reason for having adult children move back home (46 percent) and for aging parents (48 percent) to move in.
  • 84 percent of homeowners plan for their next home to be the same size or larger.
  • About 62 percent of Baby Boomers want their home in retirement to be within the same state they currently live.  This represents a 20 percent increase compared with two years prior.
  • 32 percent of Baby Boomers want to live within 20 miles of their children/grandchildren upon retirement.

"Our 2012 survey results are consistent with the trends we experienced with our communities during the year, and offer a peek at what may be in store for 2013 and beyond," Meyer said.  "Along with the renewed sense of optimism toward housing among all buyer groups, we are also seeing that family can have a significant influence on the decisions associated with buying a new home."

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