Any way you cut it, real estate makes up a huge chunk of the overall economy. One consequence of that is that the health of the real estate industry is constantly being put under a microscope (if it were a human patient, it would probably grow alarmed by all the doctors and specialists constantly calling it in for routine check-ups).
Everyone from Washington regulators to St. Cloud tradespeople look to the performance of residential real estate as one of the most meaningful indicators of how everything else is doing. Locally, it’s not surprising that the pace of real estate sales in St. Cloud always seems to align with many other area business prospects as a whole.
Probably because that’s true in most places, the National Association of Realtors® has come up with a new way to poke and prod the patient. It’s called the “HOME Survey”— ‘HOME’ being an acronym for “Housing Opportunities and Market Experience.” This is a somewhat strained way to describe the purpose, which is to find out how typical consumers feel about residential real estate in general, and homeownership in particular.
Instead of being another dry collection of statistics, this survey could turn out to be a lot more revealing than many others because it is going to be measured every month from now on—then reported every quarter. Even though it will be conducted nationally, I’m guessing that St. Cloud real estate trends could well turn up here, since it is the changes in attitude that will become apparent.
Anyway, the first survey results are in—so we have a baseline we can use for comparison. These first findings reveal some very positive findings. Among them:
Percentage of renters who want to become homeowners: 83%
Percentage of households believing homeownership is a good financial decision: 88%
Percentage of households who believe owning a home is part of their own American Dream 87%
Since ‘The American Dream’ is such a generalized term, the survey attempts to nail down which features of owning a home are the most appealing. The three leaders are, “A place to raise a family” (36%); “Owning a place of your own” (26%); and “A nest egg for retirement” (14%).
It should be interesting for St. Cloud real estate watchers to compare future findings with that baseline—and to see if local attitudes reflect the same kind of shifts. In any case, if your own feelings about home ownership match those findings, you can easily begin your own made-to-order version of a St. Cloud “Housing Opportunities and Market Experience.” Just call me!