(Bloomberg News) Potential homebuyers and sellers are growing more confident that the U.S. real estate market will begin to recover as soon as next year, according to a Prudential Real Estate survey.
Sixty percent of people surveyed last month had positive views about the housing market and 70 percent expected property values to improve over the next two years, according to the survey released today. About 63 percent of respondents said they considered real estate a good investment, up from 52 percent last year, the Irvine, California-based broker reported.
This is the second consecutive year consumer confidence in housing has improved, signaling the property market may "finally be climbing out of its deep hole," Stephen Van Anden, chief marketing officer for Prudential Real Estate, said in a telephone interview.
While foreclosures and declining home prices have contributed to a six-year real estate slump, rising employment and low mortgage rates may be bolstering buyer confidence. The Federal Reserve, in its regional Beige Book business survey issued Feb. 29, said the housing market "has improved somewhat in most districts" with Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas among cities reporting increases in home sales.
More than 90 percent of respondents in the Prudential survey said the housing crisis is a reminder they must be more cautious in buying and selling property. About 80 percent of people polled said homeownership is important to them, while 15 percent said the economic downturn made owning a home less important.
"There is still a desire for homeownership, and as we see continued improvement in the job market, there is going to be an unleashing of pent-up demand," Van Anden said.
Survey respondents were 25 to 64 years old with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought or sold a home or are considering a purchase or sale. Prudential Real Estate collected responses from 1,251 people.