More than half of adults surveyed — 54 percent — don't expect the housing market to recover until 2014 at the earliest, according to a new survey conducted online from April 15 to 19 by market research firm Harris Interactive on behalf of property search and marketing site Trulia and foreclosure data site RealtyTrac.
This number is up from 34 percent who responded this way in a similar survey conducted in November 2010. Of the 2,018 adults who responded to the April 2011 survey, another 24 percent of respondents believe the market will recover in 2013, unchanged from the results of the November survey, while 15 percent of respondents say the market will recover in 2012, down from 27 percent from November.
Still, consumer confidence is not always an accurate prediction of where the market will actually go, says Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac.
"We're really dealing with consumer perception," he says. "This survey is accurate in terms of what consumers believe, but in terms of what we think. We think the market will stabilize in the next 12 months, and that this year will be the bottom of the market."
Sharga also says he thinks home prices will begin to appreciate by 2014. However, there's another number result from the survey that Sharga wasn't anticipating: 40 percent of surveyed renters said they won't ever buy a home.
"The housing market is such a huge part of the U.S. economy," he says. "But if only 60 percent of people are even interested in buying a home, then we're actually only going to sell to a percentage of that figure. That troubles me a little."
Moving forward, he says he believes that it's just as important to help buyers stay in their homes as it is to turn renters into buyers. "With more sober lending practices taking place, we can see more people who take out home loans get to stay in their homes," he says. "My hope is that we've learned our lesson, and will do a better job going forward."