Prudential Real Estate Q3 Outlook Survey:
Men and Women View Homeownership Through Different Lenses;
Real Estate Agents Act as ‘Couples Therapist’ in Decision Process
IRVINE, Calif. – Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, today released results of its third quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating men and women don’t necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to homeownership and the responsibilities related to home-buying and selling.
Men claim to be more responsible for financial aspects while women assume the lead for neighborhood research and planning portions of the process. While 39% of men in partnerships claim researching banks and securing a mortgage are completely their responsibility, 42% of women in partnerships indicated it is their sole responsibility to manage appointments and 34% take the lead in researching neighborhoods.
Women also seem to enjoy the process of purchasing a home more so than men. A full 87% of women said they enjoy looking at homes compared with 77% of men. Moreover, feelings associated with homeownership are more pronounced in women than in men. When asked about the reasons why homeownership is “very important,” more women associated it with a sense of pride or accomplishment (16% higher than men) and independence (11% higher). For men, “control over living space” and “more space for my family” were most important.
“As the real estate market strengthens and household formation grows, men and women approach the buying-selling process from different angles,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “What’s most interesting is the dynamic that exists among couples and the role that agents play in balancing couple’s real estate objectives.”
A gap seems to exist between men and women about the perception of shared responsibilities involved in purchasing and selling homes.
• 71% of females say that making the down payment is a shared responsibility compared with 56% of males.
• 53% of males are more likely to say researching schools is a shared responsibility compared with 42% of females.
• 65% of females say collecting and evaluating assets and/or financials is a shared responsibility whereas only 54% of males say the same.
• 63% of men say keeping the house in order for a potential buyer is a shared responsibility compared with 47% of women
The sexes stand in agreement on the “most important home features,” ranking “safe neighborhood,” “overall condition of the home” and “number of bedrooms” ahead of others.
Still, the varying points of view between men and women place agents in the middle, serving as the local-market expert and often the voice of reason. Of those surveyed and in a partnership, 83% said their last real estate agent was helpful in forming an agreement with their partner and 86% value the agent’s point of view as much as or more than their partner’s.
Carl Medford, an agent with Prudential California Realty’s Castro Valley office, said real estate consumers are usually eager and anxious at the same time, which can result in disagreement among couples. “When my clients don’t see eye to eye on a particular property or home features I wait for the appropriate moment and say, ‘I also provide marriage counseling,’” said Medford with a laugh. “If there’s friction I’ll say let’s go get a coffee and sort this out. Simply acknowledging the tension usually helps. ”
Medford wasn’t kidding when he mentioned marriage counseling. As a former senior pastor of a large Bay Area church for 24 years, he helped counsel people working through all sorts of challenges and opportunities. “Buying and selling real estate can be so rewarding, yet people need to realize that the process can be stressful. My message is take a step back, take a deep breath and let’s work through the process together.”
Both women and men cited “honest” and “knowledgeable” as the most important qualities in a real estate agent, and 92% of respondents said their agent was helpful in the real estate process.
Confidence Remains in the Marketplace
Consumers remain confident in the recovering real estate market, according to the survey. Their favorability perception of residential real estate at 73% rose to the highest level since the survey began in 2011.
Homeownership continues as a priority to nearly all survey respondents, as 96% described it as “very important” or “somewhat important.”
“People believe in real estate and want to take advantage of the housing opportunities out there,” said Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer at HSF Affiliates LLC. “A home is a solid, long-term investment on which you can live and build your dreams.”
The full survey details are available upon request. An infographic illustrating survey findings is available here.
Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology
Interviews with 2,641 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Edelman Berland in August and September 2013. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought/sold a home or are considering buying/selling a home. The margin of error is ± 2.0% for all respondents.
About Prudential Real Estate and HSF Affiliates LLC
Prudential Real Estate is a part of the HSF Affiliates LLC real estate brokerage family, which includes Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate. Most Prudential Real Estate franchisees are independently owned and operated. Visit www.prudentialrealestate.com for details.
HSF Affiliates LLC, based in Irvine, Calif., is a joint venture of which HomeServices of America, Inc., the nation’s second-largest, full-service residential brokerage firm, is a majority owner. HomeServices of America is an affiliate of world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
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