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Not Joking Around: Correcting Four Housing Market Myths

Man with long nose shocked surprised

In the spirit of any jokester’s favorite day of the year, I bring you the most common housing myths.

Thanks to the magnificent data from NAR Research, these statements are as laughable as many of the false assertions you’ll hear this April Fool’s Day.

1. Millennials aren’t buying homes

The millennial generation has certainly faced their share of hardships since becoming an adult before or immediately after the Great Recession. While difficultly saving for a down payment and limited supply in their price range have certainly held them back, the claim millennials aren’t buying homes is simply not true.

According to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyer Generational Trends, millennials represented the largest share of buyers (at 35 percent) for the third consecutive year.

2. Millennials prefer to rent

Not true.

This year’s Generational Trends survey also found that millennials’ desire to own a home of their own as the primary reason for their purchase increased to 48 percent (39 percent a year ago).

Additionally, the December 2015 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey revealed that nearly all millennial renters want to own a home in the future (94%).

3. Investors are stepping away from the market

Although investors aren’t nearly as active as during the aftermath of the downturn, sales to investors remain elevated and have actually increased in recent months. According to the Realtors® Confidence Index, despite fewer distressed sales, sales to individual investors were 18 percent of sales in February, which is a considerable increase from the 12 percent just last August. It appears more investors are purchasing lower-priced homes and turning them into rentals.

4. Buyers no longer rely on real estate agents to buy and sell a home 

Survey responses from NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers prove each year that this is far from the truth. In the 2015 edition, nearly 90 percent of all respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home. Furthermore, for-sale-by-owner transactions fell to their lowest share ever.