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Monday, May 30, 2011

Even more Negative Sentiment for Homeownership

by Calculated Risk on 5/30/2011 05:05:00 PM

As I've noted before, I've been looking for a change in sentiment for homeowership. A shift in sentiment doesn't mean housing prices have bottomed - it just means the market is getting closer. In previous busts it seemed like negative sentiment lasted for a few years. Earlier posts on this with anecdotal evidence: Housing: Feeling the Hate, More "Hate" for Housing, More "Hate" for Homeownership and More Negative Sentiment for Homeownership.

A few excerpts from David Streitfeld's article at the NY Times: Index Expected to Show New Low in House Prices

“The emotional scars left by the collapse are changing the American psyche,” said Pete Flint, chief executive of the housing Web site Trulia. “There was a time when owning a home was a symbol you had made it. Now it’s O.K. not to own.”

Trulia, a real estate search engine for buyers and renters ... is a hive of renters, including Mr. Flint. “I’m in no rush at all to buy,” he said.
Tim Hebb, a Los Angeles systems engineer ... sold his bungalow in August 2006, then leased it back for a year. Since then [he] rented a succession of apartments.

“I have flirted with buying again many times over the past few years,” said Mr. Hebb. “Let’s face it, people are not rational creatures.”
“We have more of what we call ‘renters by choice’ than I’ve seen in the 40 years I’ve been in the apartment business,” said Jeffrey I. Friedman, chief executive of [Associated Estates Realty Corporation, which owns 13,000 apartments in Georgia, Indiana, Michigan and other Midwest and Southeast states]
Susan Lindsey, a San Diego software programmer, was once eagerly waiting for the housing market to crash. She said she would have no guilt about swooping in on some foreclosed owner who had bought a place he could not afford.

With prices now down by a third, however, she is content to stay in her $2,500-a-month rental.
Weekend ...
Summary for Week Ending May 27th
Schedule for Week of May 29th