Historically low interest rates and falling home prices have encouraged Californians to buy homes, but not without plenty of research, according to the California Association of Realtors “2008 Survey of California Home Buyers,” released today.
Sixty-nine percent of all homebuyers and 77 percent of first-time homebuyers reported that lower home prices played a key role in deciding to purchase a home.
At the same time, homebuyers are taking more time to dive in, spending an average of 10.3 weeks to look for a property with their agent, up from eight weeks in 2007.
Eventual buyers also looked at nearly twice as many homes before making a purchase, an average of 23.3 homes, up from 12.7 a year ago.
“Due to the high inventory of homes on the market, and uncertainty about the direction of home prices, buyers are more cautious and are moving at a slower pace during the home buying process than in previous years,” said C.A.R. President William E. Brown.
If you’re curious how things got so bad, consider that two years ago Internet buyers spent a mere 2.2 weeks, on average, looking for a home.
Nearly 20 percent of all buyers were first-time buyers, who spent an average of 9.6 weeks with their agent, compared to 5.8 weeks in 2007.