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75% of New Home Buyers Have Regrets

Stockhouse Editorial
1 Comment| February 8, 2022

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With the way home prices are skyrocketing and the housing stock is dwindling, buying a home these days can feel too good to be true … but for most new owners, making that first purchase comes with a lot of grief.

Data from Zillow Group Inc. (NASDAQ: Z,Forum) released a survey on Tuesday that found that three-quarters of those (75%) who successfully purchased a home in the past two years say they have at least one regret about the home they bought. About one-third of new buyers regret buying a home that needs more work or maintenance than expected (32%). A similar percentage regret buying a home that is too small (31%).

The company’s population scientist, Manny Garcia commented that the pandemic-driven feeding frenzy in the for-sale market added challenges for buyers, especially those purchasing for the first time.

“This research suggests many of those buyers ended up in a home that was less than ideal. It's important to remember that even in a balanced market, most buyers have to make compromises to stay within their budget. However, to minimize regret, aspiring buyers would be wise to establish where they're willing to compromise and what's a deal breaker before shopping.”

Garcia suggests starting a checklist to establish needs versus wants for those looking to buy a first home. When shopping with a partner, the right home should meet the needs of both people to avoid regrets and resentment.

By the numbers:

  • 74% wish they had done at least one thing differently during the shopping process
  • 38% wish they had spent more time searching for a home or weighing their options
  • 28% would have shopped for and purchased a home in a different area
  • 81% had to make at least one compromise in order to afford their home
  • 39% ended up in a location that increased their commute time
  • 32% purchased a home that was smaller than they initially planned to buy
  • 59% of successful buyers say they took a break from their home search
  • 72% of prospective buyers say they have done the same

Pandemic-era buyers faced unprecedented conditions - far fewer homes to choose from and far more competition for the homes that were listed for sale. Inventory fell to a new low, down more than 40% compared to pre-pandemic levels, while home values surged nearly 20% in 2021.

Buyers today face similar challenges, but in a calmer market. Home values are expected to keep climbing, but Zillow economists predict those values will rise at a slightly slower rate than last year's blistering pace — 16.4% versus 19.6% in 2021.

To read the report in full, click here.


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