Thursday, June 23 2011
Americans are more optimistic about their home buying prospects than residents of other countries, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying now is a good time to buy a home, according to the new Genworth International Mortgage Trends Report.
Yet these economic concerns have not translated into excessive mortgage stress among U.S. home buyers. According to the survey, 87% of Americans who bought their first home in the past 12 months expected to easily meet their mortgage repayment obligations in the coming year, a slight improvement over the 85% who comfortably met their mortgage payments in the 12 months prior to the survey period.
Due to affordability issues — high home prices, higher costs of living, or fear of rising interest rates — the average age of first-time home buyers has risen in all countries except India over the last 40 years. The average age at which a person in the U.S. was able to purchase a first home rose from 27.3 in the 1970s to 31.6 in the 2000s.
“The U.S. is the most optimistic among all the markets surveyed about buying a home,” said Kevin Schneider, Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance president. “Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed believe now is a good time to buy a home … We hope that federal and state lawmakers recognize this pent-up demand and enact policies that foster prudent home ownership.”
Some key findings from other nations surveyed:
Source: Genworth Financial
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