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LendingTree Survey: Financial Benefits Of Homeownership And Housing Affordability Motivate Potential Homebuyers

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of Homeownership Month, LendingTree surveyed a panel of 600 individuals who are considering purchasing a home within the next 12 months, conducted online by Research Data Technology, Inc. from May 21-23, 2013. The survey revealed that prospective homebuyers expect both mortgage rates (64%) and home prices (68%) to rise over the next 12 months, indicating that today's housing market presents an ideal time to purchase a home.

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Interestingly, 72% of home buyers residing in the western United States anticipate higher residential prices, compared to residents of the northeastern United States where 59% share this outlook. Of those surveyed, 57% are first-time homebuyers with the home buying urgency between active (45%) and more casual (55%) shoppers.

"The housing market is stabilizing and financing is becoming more available for potential home buyers," said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of "Increasing home prices are providing would-be sellers with the confidence needed to take action, while rising interest rates are placing a sense of urgency on potential home buyers. Together this creates a unique window of opportunity for buyers and sellers to take advantage of the market while home prices and rates are still reasonably affordable."

Outlook on Household FinancesActive home seekers (80%) are more optimistic about their households' financial condition 12 months from now, compared to casual home seekers (70%). Less active home seekers cited they require more confidence in their household financial situations before home ownership moves into sharper focus. Forty-three percent (43%) of less active homebuyers cited improvement in household economic conditions (23%) and the need to save for a down payment (20%) as their top two reasons for being less committed to home purchase at this time. Additionally, 27% of experienced homeowners stated their top reason for the casual pursuit of a home at this time is they need to sell their current home.

Mortgage Process and Loan Preferences The guiding attribute in future mortgage applications is affordability. When asked what percentage of the home purchase price did you put down or expect to put down when you find the home you want, forty-four percent of home seekers expect to put down less than 15% of the home purchase price, 37% expect to put down from 15-24%, and 19% will put down greater than 25%. The preferred type of mortgage sought by homebuyers is the fixed rate mortgage.  As for expected loan type, 45% of home seekers expect to apply for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, 36% a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, only 7% will seek an adjustable rate mortgage, with 12% of respondents unsure of their loan preference.

Shopping around for a mortgage is deemed worthwhile by most home buyers with 66% of homebuyers believing the variance in rates is 25bps to 75bps across lenders. Additionally, 49% percent of respondents claim they would apply the money saved on a mortgage payment towards debt reduction and they cite mortgage brokers as the most influential source for mortgage-related information, followed by the Internet and real estate brokers.

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