10 things you must know about 2019 home buying, renting, selling, financing

The New York Fed does a survey on how you’re feeling about housing and consumer finance every year. Here’s what you need to know about the latest home buying, renting, selling and financing trends.

– The majority of renters still perceive obtaining a mortgage as difficult, but the share perceiving it as easy or very easy rose above 21% for the first time since at least 2014.

– Spoiler alert: it’s not hard to get a mortgage, and new tech keeps making it easier.

– But renters continue to think getting a mortgage (if they want to buy a home) is hard, with 57.9% stating that it would be “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to get a mortgage.

– Renters really wish they owned homes. 71.5% of renters report preferring or strongly preferring to own if they had the financial resources to do so.

– More renters now plan on buying a home—an increase of 52.4% from 49.5% in 2018 now plan on buying, with the increase strongest among older renters.

– Renters on average think their rent will go up 7.3% in the next year (!)

– These points show that as people age and mature in their careers, they start to tie owning a home into their ideas of self-worth and success.

– And let’s avoid cynical assumptions that aging workers won’t ever rise up and are fooling themselves about buying a home one day. A big part of this population are getting smarter, earning more, and will accomplish this life goal.

– 65% of all respondents think that buying property in their zip code is a “very good” or “somewhat good” investment, the same level as in 2018. Only 9.0% think housing is a “bad” investment, down from 10.6% a year ago.

-People are more worried their homes will lose value—an increase of 29% from 27% in 2018. Younger respondents—those under 50—perceive more downside risk compared to those over 50.

– 34.7% of homeowners think they’ll put at least $5k into home improvements this year, and 47.9% plan to invest $5k into their home within 3 years.

– Home ownership has fully bounced back from post-2008 lows at 64.2%

– Fewer people think they should refinance—that rate declined to 8.0% from 8.8% in 2018.

– This last point is of dubious merit. Consumers don’t really know how rates fluctuate everyday, but it’s worth noting that rates are in prime refi territory at this moment.