UNDERSTANDING CALIFORNIA S HOUSING MARKET: AN ANALYSIS OF HOMEBUYING AND SELLING TRENDS

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1 UNDERSTANDING CALIFORNIA S HOUSING MARKET: AN ANALYSIS OF HOMEBUYING AND SELLING TRENDS

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION HOME BUYERS SURVEY RENTERS SURVEY... 9 HOUSING AFFORDABILITY: THE ISSUE NEVER WENT AWAY INTERNATIONAL BUYERS SURVEY MILLENNIALS SURVEY METHODOLOGY WORKS CITED

3 Leading the way in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles. The Association develops and promotes programs and services that will enhance the members freedom and ability to conduct their individual businesses successfully with integrity and competency and, through collective action, promotes the preservation of real property rights. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS Research and Economics 525 South Virgil Avenue Los Angeles, CA C.A.R. Research Staff Leslie Appleton-Young Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Selma Hepp, Ph.D. Senior Economist Oscar Wei Senior Research Analyst Carmen Hirciag Senior Research Analyst Rowena Ramos Research Coordinator 02

4 INTRODUCTION Navigating the housing market has become increasingly more complex. Technology has changed the way consumers approach the homebuying process. At the same time, the economic downturn has affected the perception of and the ability to enter homeownership. Generations of consumers are becoming more diverse in their preferences and consumption patterns. The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS conducts an array of consumer and membership surveys to help gain insight into this rapidly evolving ecosystem. This report summarizes a few insightful surveys that were conducted in 2013/2014. It covers information from the Home Buyers Survey, Renters Survey, International Buyers Survey, and Millennials Survey. The report also discusses one of the critical determinants of a healthy housing market housing affordability. With home price appreciation rapidly pushing home prices in many communities back to their cyclical peak levels, many would-be home buyers are being left out of the market. For those who were able to purchase in 2014, surveys show that the buying environment was challenging. For those who are not purchasing, it is clear that the lack of affordability is the main deterrent from entering homeownership. The issue of housing affordability is in fact an overarching thread that appears in all of the surveys covered in this report. California s housing recovery, following the 2008 financial crisis, did not progress consistently or evenly across the state. Foreclosureplagued areas had significant inventory to work through. At the same time, interest in California s housing market from both domestic and international investors fueled the market recovery beginning in Since 2012, the housing recovery has been fast and furious. Year-over-year housing prices climbed at double-digit rates for 23 consecutive months. The inventory of homes for sale hit historical lows, and the market was exceedingly competitive. The International Buyers Survey showed that many foreign buyers are purchasing homes with all cash and have relatively higher incomes than local residents. Even the traditional local buyers are more likely to buy with all cash than they were in previous years. Market competition had a crippling effect on first-time buyers whose share of the buyer population fell 20 percentage points over the last few years. Market competition lessened somewhat in 2014; however, high home prices still impede many California residents from entering homeownership. The most recent C.A.R. Home Buyers Survey showed that the buyer demographic is changing and becoming less representative of the general population in California. Buyers who can afford to buy a home are older than in previous years, highlighting difficulties younger generations have in establishing their financial footing. Both the Renters Survey and the Millennials Survey undeniably confirm the impact of low affordability. Respondents to both surveys indicated that they would prefer to own or aspire to own a home, but are lacking the means to do so. In fact, affordable home prices are more likely to motivate these two groups to buy a home than starting a family would be. While the affordability crisis is not at its worst, it is quickly approaching levels that will impact economic growth and job creation. In the Bay Area, in particular, affordability levels are falling to such low levels that only 1 in 10 households are able to afford a median priced home. The remainder of this report covers in greater detail many interesting insights about California s home buyers, renters, and the future generation of wouldbe homeowners. We hope you will find this report informative and illuminating. Selma Hepp, Ph.D. 03

5 2014 HOME BUYERS SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS As housing affordability in California continues to decline, putting homeownership out of reach for more and more first-time buyers, the average age of home buyers is rising. The C.A.R Survey of Home Buyers found that the average age of buyers increased from 38 in 2013 to 48 this year. As the age composition of buyers changes, so does ethnic composition. Minorities now comprise the majority of California home buyers. The majority of buyers are married and college educated. More than seven out of 10 have annual household income above $100k. Buyers spent about five months considering a purchase and researching homes and neighborhoods before contacting a real estate agent. All buyers viewed at least 10 homes before purchasing and nearly all made offers on other homes before closing escrow on their actual purchase. More than half of buyers stated price decreases were the main reason for purchasing. The majority didn t buy sooner because there were not many good options. Once they find a home, they plan to keep it for a while almost nine years, on average Home Buyers Survey

6 WHO IS THE 2014 HOME BUYER? Q: What is your age? The characteristics of a typical California home buyer continue to evolve. The 2014 buyer is more likely to be female, older, a minority, and single when compared to home buyers in prior years. Also, the standard buyers annual household income continues to increase. While 33 percent of buyers in 2013 had incomes of $150,000 or more, 44 percent of 2014 buyers have incomes higher than $150,000. The proportion of younger buyers significantly declined this year, increasing the average age by 10 years to This is the second consecutive year that the average age increased. Buyers 34 years of age or younger comprised 45 percent of buyers in 2013, while the same group only represented 12 percent of buyers in The decrease in the share of younger buyers is consistent with the declining housing affordability rate in California over the past several years. As a result, fewer buyers are able to afford to purchase their first home. Percentage of Buyers in GeneraRonal Age Group 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Gen Y Gen X Boomers Silent Average Age % 18% 18% 20% 37% 39% 43% 34% 36% 48% 45% Minorities represent the majority of home buyers in California, making up 64 percent of all buyers. This is up from 2003, when minorities made up less than half (47 percent) of all buyers. The percentage of Hispanic buyers grew from 16 percent in 2003 to 26 percent this year, and the percentage of Black / African American buyers quadrupled from 3 percent to 12 percent. The percentage of White / Caucasian buyers shrank from 53 percent to 36 percent over the same period. Home buyers now more closely resemble the demographics of California, where minorities represent 60 percent of the population. The percentage of unmarried buyers increased to 41 percent from 37 percent last year, reflecting the gradual decline in married households. Gen Y and Gen X are getting married at an older age on average and forming households outside the traditional boundaries of the institution. According 4 to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 46 percent of Californians are married, compared to 57 percent who were married in % 51% 32% Average Age of Home Buyers Home buyers are highly educated; 61 percent have a college or graduate degree and all buyers have at least a high school diploma. For the state as a whole, only 31 percent of the population who is 25 years and older has a bachelor or graduate degree (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). Q: What is your age? EXHIBIT 1: PROPORTION OF YOUNGER BUYERS DECLINES Minorities represent the majority of home buyers in California, making up 64 percent of all buyers. This 1 is This up from may also 2003, be when attributed minorities to a lack made of up younger less than buyers half willing (47 percent) to respond of all to buyers. the telephone The percentage survey. of Hispanic 2 This survey buyers sample grew is from skewed 16 percent towards in owner-occupant 2003 to 26 percent buyers. this year, and the percentage of Black / African 3 This survey American sample buyers is skewed quadrupled towards from owner-occupant three percent buyers. to 12 percent. The percentage of White / Caucasian 4 C.A.R. began buyers producing shrank from its Housing 53 percent Affordability to 36 percent Index over (HAI) the in same The period. assumptions Home buyers and now methodology more used to calculate C.A.R. s traditional closely Housing resemble Affordability the demographics Index (HAI) can of California, be downloaded where minorities represent 60 percent of the population. The percentage of unmarried buyers increased to 41 percent from 37 percent last year, reflecting the gradual decline in married households. Gen Y and Gen X are getting married at an older age on average and forming households outside the traditional boundaries of the institution. According to the U.S Home Buyers Survey 05

7 5 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% Under $100,000 $100,000- $200,000 $200,000 + California households do. The discrepancy in six figure incomes is also large; more than seven in 10 buyers (72 percent) earn more than $100,000 a year, but only 28 percent of Californians (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012) earn at that same level. There is a strong link between owning a home, having an advanced degree, and higher income. THE HOMEBUYING EXPERIENCE 0% EXHIBIT 2: HOME BUYER ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME Q: Which of the following categories best represents you total annual income from all sources? Those who own a home have a higher income than the average Californian. Nearly all buyers (97 percent) have an annual household income over $75,000, whereas only about 40 percent of California households do. The discrepancy in six figure incomes is also large; more than seven in 10 buyers (72 percent) earn more than $100,000 a year, but only 28 percent of Californians (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012) earn at that same level. There is a strong link between owning a home, having an advanced degree and higher income. Q: Which of the following categories best represents your total annual income from all sources? The Home Buying Experience The California homebuyer is facing an increasingly challenging market. Affordability is no stranger to this housing marketplace, with the coastal areas where housing prices are well above the median struggling with affordability constraints. With home prices expected to continue rising this year, even more buyers will be priced out of the market. The median listing price in 2014 reached $380,000 while purchase price closely followed at $375,000, according to the C.A.R Home Buyer Survey. Nevertheless, Those who own a home have a higher income than the average Californian. Nearly all buyers (97 percent) have an annual household income over $75,000, whereas only about 40 percent of competition among buyers eased some in 2014, following a fiercely competitive market in In 2014, 49 percent of homes sold over list price, compared to 60 percent in 2013, an 11 percentage points decline. The shrinking discount between listing and purchases prices further indicates that the market remains competitive. Figure 1: Listing vs. Purchase Price The California home buyer is facing an increasingly challenging market. Affordability is no stranger to this housing marketplace, with the coastal areas where housing prices are well above the median struggling with affordability constraints. With home prices expected to continue rising this year, even more buyers will be priced out of the market. The median listing price in 2014 reached $380,000, while the purchase price closely followed at $375,000, according to the C.A.R Home Buyers Survey. EXHIBIT 3: LISTING VS. PURCHASE PRICE Home Buyers Survey

8 7 Nevertheless, competition among buyers eased some in 2014, following a fiercely competitive market in In 2014, 49 percent of homes sold over list price, compared to 60 percent in 2013, an 11 percentage point decline. The shrinking discount between listing and purchase prices further indicates that the market remains competitive. Price decreases Promolon/raise Low interest rates Favorable price/financing Desired beper/other localon Investment/Tax advantage Desired larger home Long term apprecialon 17% 16% 15% 13% 9% 29% 34% 54% Market competition has been intimidating to many buyers. Consequently, the buying process begins long before buyers actually contact an agent. Fortunately, in 2014 potential buyers were moving somewhat faster. On average, buyers started considering a purchase nearly five months (19 weeks) before getting in touch with a real estate agent, down from 24 weeks last year. Home buyers are also taking less time investigating homes and neighborhoods before contacting an agent, spending a little over five months compared to about seven months last year. However, buyers still spend about 10 weeks looking for a home with their agent. Buyers viewed twice as many homes as last year as scarce inventory and rejected offers continued to prolong the buying process. The long consideration time and home search reflect the limited availability of homes for sale and increasing prices, which are causing buyers to weigh their options carefully before making a purchase. More than 9 out of 10 buyers (91 percent) made offers on other homes, and nearly half (46 percent) claim they settled for the best option given the limited supply of houses. When they were finally ready to make a purchase, buyers tended to stay closer to their previous homes the median distance from their last residence was 15 miles, down from 25 miles last year. Price decreases, a promotion or a raise, and low interest rates were the top three reasons that buyers purchased. Nearly half did not buy sooner because there were not many good housing options, others waited to see when prices would stabilize or did not Change in family 8% EXHIBIT 4: MAIN REASONS FOR BUYING While the majority of buyers (54 percent) found their home through an agent, the share of buyers who found their home online tripled from 13 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in Technology and convenience of internet search changed the role of the real estate agent in the home buying process. see a real urgency to buy. Consistent with decreases in mobility rates seen in Census surveys, today s buyers are planning to stay in their homes longer. While increasingly more buyers find their homes online, they rely greatly on real estate agents to help them in the negotiating process and understanding complexities around this large in transaction. Figure 3: More Buyers Finding their Own Home on the Internet Agent Website Other The average buyer plans to stay in their home for 85% almost nine years, 80% up from six years in % 80% 70% 80% 60% While the majority of buyers (54 61% percent) found 50% their home through an agent, the share 54% of buyers 40% who found their home online tripled from 13 37% 30% 39% percent in 2011 to 39 percent in Technology 20% 13% 13% and convenience of Internet 16% 10% search has changed 1% 7% the 0% role of the real estate agent 4% in the homebuying 2% 8% 2010 process. While 2011 increasingly more buyers find their homes online, they rely greatly on real estate 2014 agents to help them in the negotiating process and understanding complexities around this large transaction. As the real estate market prospers, buyer optimism about the future direction of home prices is also growing, with the majority of buyers (81 percent) believing prices will go up in five years and 60 percent believing prices will rise in one year. Buyer optimism has improved since 2009, when only 35 percent of buyers believed that prices would rise in five years and only 8 percent believed prices would rise in one year. None of the buyers who responded to the survey this year felt that prices would drop in the future. This optimism is echoed by a 38.8-point increase in the consumer confidence index from 25.3 in February 2009 to 82.3 in March of this year (The Conference Board ) Home Buyers Survey 07

9 While the majority of buyers (54 percent) found their home through an agent, the share of buyers who found their found home their online home online tripled tripled from 13 from percent 13 percent in 2011 in to percent to 39 percent in in Technology Technology and and convenience convenience of internet of internet search search changed changed the role the of role the real of the estate real agent estate in agent the home in the buying home buying process. process. While increasingly While increasingly more buyers more buyers find their find homes their homes online, online, they rely they greatly rely greatly on real on estate real agents estate agents to help to help them in them the negotiating in the negotiating process process and understanding and understanding complexities complexities around around this large this in large transaction. in transaction. Figure 3: Figure More EXHIBIT Buyers 3: More 5: Finding MORE Buyers their Finding BUYERS Own their Home FINDING Own on Home the THEIR Internet on the OWN Internet HOME ON THE INTERNET Agent Agent Website Website Other Other 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 85% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 37% 37% 39% 30% 39% 8 13% 20% 13% 13% 13% 16% 16% 10% As the real estate market prospers, buyer optimism about the future direction of home prices is also 1% 7% 1% 7% 4% growing, with the majority of buyers (81 percent) believing prices will go up in five years and 60 percent 0% 4% believing prices 2% will rise in one 8% year. Buyer optimism has improved since 2009 when only 35 percent of 2% 8% buyers believed that prices would rise in five years and only eight percent believed prices would rise in one year. None of the buyers who responded to the survey this year felt that prices would drop in the 2012 future This 2013 optimism is echoed by a point increase in the consumer confidence index from 25.3 in February 2009 to in March 2014 of this year. (The Conference Board(R)) TECHNOLOGY IN THE BUYING PROCESS The overwhelming majority of buyers (91 percent) used a mobile device to access the Internet. In addition to accessing the Internet, buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (45 percent), communicate (45 percent), and take photos of neighborhoods, homes and amenities (43 percent). Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia are the most useful mobile apps among buyers. Zillow is the most useful website in the homebuying process, followed by Realtor.com and Redfin. More than half of all buyers (59 percent) found their home on Realtor.com or Zillow. The use of social media in the buying process continued increasing this year, with more than three-quarters of buyers engaged, compared to 52 percent in % 80% 80% 80% 80% 61% 61% 54% 54% Technology in the Buying Process The overwhelming majority of buyers (91 percent) used a mobile device to access the internet. In addition to accessing the internet, buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (45 percent), communicate (45 percent), and take photos of neighborhoods, homes and amenities (43 percent). Buyers primarily used social media for buying tips and suggestions from friends (44 percent), neighborhood information (44 percent), and to view their agents Facebook pages (35 percent). The use of social media as a form of communication is expected to continue to grow in the future, with 92 percent of buyers indicating they are receptive to receiving information about the homebuying process directly from their agent via social media. Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia are the most useful mobile apps among buyers. Zillow is the most useful website in the home buying process, followed by Realtor.com and Redfin. More than half of all buyers (59 percent) found their home on realtor.com or Zillow. The use of social media in the buying process continued increasing this year, with more than three- quarters of buyers engaged, compared to 52 percent in EXHIBIT 6: SOCIAL MEDIA WEB SITES USED Buyers primarily used social media for buying tips and suggestions from friends (44 percent), DURING THE HOMEBUYING PROCESS neighborhood information (44 percent), and to view their agents Facebook pages (35 percent). The use of social media as a form of communication is expected to continue to grow in the future, with 92 percent of buyers indicating they are receptive to receiving information about the home buying process directly from their agent via social media Home Buyers Survey

10 FINANCING The majority of buyers surveyed obtained financing for their home purchase (74 percent) and experienced less difficulty in doing so. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being very difficult, buyers rated their difficulty in obtaining financing at 7.1 on average, down from 8.6 last year. Higher down payments are still the norm in this market, with buyers putting an average of 28 percent down on their purchases. The average down payment has been higher than the traditional 20 percent since Fixed-rate loans are being obtained by more than nine out of 10 buyers (92 percent), a 23 percentage point rise from 2009, when only 69 percent had a fixed-rate loan. Nearly nine out of 10 buyers (86 percent) have 30-year loan terms, and only 14 percent of buyers have terms under 30 years. Buyers acquiring traditional long-term loans and putting more skin in the game points to a more stable and healthy real estate market. This is a positive change from the previous boom, when creative loan products were being acquired with little or no money down. This year, more than one-quarter of all buyers (26 percent) paid cash for their homes, the highest level in the Buyers Survey s history. The majority of cash buyers (95 percent) used proceeds from a previous residence; others had funds from the sale of personal assets (44 percent), or from personal savings (40 percent). In an environment where obtaining housing financing is so difficult, the presence of investors is pervasive, and multiple offers are the norm, all-cash transactions are particularly attractive. 2 This survey is skewed towards owner-occupant buyers. 3 This survey is skewed towards owner-occupant buyers Home Buyers Survey 09

11 2013 HOME RENTERS SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS In recent years, various reports on the attributes of the millennial generation have suggested that this generation has less desire for homeownership and that the U.S. could, in time, become a renter nation. The 2013 C.A.R. Survey of California Renters found this not to be the case, homeownership is, in fact, highly desirable among renters. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed rated homeownership as important and more than half said they plan to buy a home in the future. Nearly all see advantages in owning versus renting and they view buying a home as a good investment. While they may not be in the market right now, they will likely be in the near future. The majority intend to wait at least three years before buying a home. Nevertheless, for many renters, the main reason for remaining a renter is due to financial constraints. Most renters rent out of financial necessity and plan to buy in the next three years or longer. For renters who are not planning on buying a home in the future, the majority claimed that they simply could not afford it. Affordable home prices would motivate one in five renters to buy a home. Almost 27 percent of renters would be motivated to buy with some financial help, such as an improvement in their credit and assistance with their down payment. Most of the renters surveyed indicated they rented due to financial limitations. Nearly one-fourth have student loan debt and the majority of those with student debt (78 percent) have less than $10,000 of outstanding student loans. Respondents indicated the three main disadvantages of renting are lack of equity, inability to make decorative changes, and unpredictable rent increases. When they are ready to buy, nearly half of renters (47 percent) intend to begin their search online and most plan to use a REALTOR. The majority of respondents prefer single-family homes over condominiums, townhomes, and other types of residences. The majority will purchase in the same county or neighborhood where they currently reside Home Renters Survey

12 among renters. Nearly three- quarters of those surveyed rated home an half said they plan to buy a home in the future. Nearly all see and they view buying a home as a good investment. While they they will likely be in the near future. The majority intend to wait at me. Nevertheless, for many renters, the main reason for remaining ts. WHO IS THE 2013 RENTER? ecessity and plan to buy in the next three years or longer. For ing a home in the future, the majority claimed that they simply The demographic profile of renters in California prices would motivate one in five renters to buy a home. Almost 27 is very diverse. The 2013 C.A.R. Renters Survey ed to buy with some financial help, such as an improvement in their found that women make up slightly more than half n payment. Most of the renters surveyed indicated they rented due ourth have student of the loan rental debt market and the at majority 54 percent. of those About with student one in,000 of outstanding three renters student loans. belong to Gen Y younger than 35; one in five are Gen X between the ages of 35 in disadvantages of renting are lack of equity, inability to make and 45; and 45 percent are Baby Boomers 45 ble rent increases. years or older. The typical renter is 42 years of half of renters age. (47 The percent) demographic intend to begin profiles their search of the online two and sets of ajority of respondents telephone prefer single family homes and online varied over some, er types of residences. with the most The majority significant will purchase difference in the being same their currently reside. age. The median age of online respondents was 39, compared to 45 years of age for telephone respondents. The average household size consists of two adults in California nter Survey more than cent. About Y- - younger etween the t are Baby pical renter c profiles of phone and t significant EXHIBIT 1: PROFILE OF 2013 RENTER IN CALIFORNIA and 1.8 children. Nearly half of renters (45 percent) do not have children. Of those who do have children, 38 percent are single parents six out of 10 single parents are female. The majority of renters are single (58 percent). Only 36 percent of renters have a four-year college or graduate degree, and the majority (63 percent) have an annual household income below $75,000. Nearly one-fourth of all renters (23 percent) have student loan debt. The majority of those with student debt (78 percent) have less than $10,000 of outstanding student loans. Half of renters in the survey do not have other types of debt that would make it difficult to buy a home. Twenty-six percent The average household size consists of two adults and 1.8 children. Nearly half of renters (45 percent) do not have children. Of those who do have children, 38 percent are single parents six out of 10 single parents are female. The majority of renters are single (58 percent). Only 36 percent of renters have a four- year college or graduate degree and the majority (63 percent) have an annual household income below $75,000. Nearly one- fourth of all renters (23 percent) have student loan debt. The majority of those with student debt (78 percent) have less than $10,000 of outstanding student loans. Half of renters in the have credit card debt, 9 percent have auto loans, and the rest have private, personal, or other kind of debt. Survey do not have other types of debt that would make it difficult to buy a home, twenty- six percent have credit card debt, nine percent have auto loans, and the rest have private, personal or other kind of debt. Figure 4: Student Loan Debt Student Loan Debt No 75% EXHIBIT 2: STUDENT LOAN DEBT More than half of renters (54 percent) are white, 18 percent are Hispanic, 11 percent are black, 10 percent are Asian and the remaining seven percent are of some other ethnic background or combination More than half of renters (54 percent) are white, 18 percent are Hispanic, 11 percent are black, 10 percent are Asian, and the remaining 7 percent are of some other ethnic background or combination of ethnicities. When broken out by age group, the diversity of younger renters (under 35 years of age) becomes more apparent, with only 35 percent white, compared to their older cohorts (65 and older), of which 75 percent are white. This difference in ethnicity is consistent with Census Bureau data, which reflects that millennials (those of ethnicities. When broken out by age group, the diversity of younger renters (under 35 years of age) CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS UNDERSTANDING CALIFORNIA S HOUSING claiming MARKET they will stay put more than five years. The average 2013 Home renter Renters intends Survey to remain 11 in their current home for 4.6 more years. Yes 23% Refused 2% Current EXHIBIT Residence 3: ETHNICITY BY AGE <$10K $10- $20K $20- $50K $50- $100K > $100K Refused Amount of Debt becomes more apparent, with only 35 percent white, compared to their older cohorts (65 and older), of which 75 percent are white. This difference in ethnicity is consistent with Census Bureau data, which under 35) are the most diverse generation. reflects that millennials (those under 35) are the most diverse generation. Figure 5: Ethnicity by Age Black Asian White Hispanic Other 6% 9% 8% 5% 8% 7% 2% 13% 29% 21% 38% 49% 62% 15% 12% 7% 4% 5% 12% 9% 10% 11% 10% Renters do not move as frequently as might be perceived, with the median tenure being five years, according to the C.A.R. Survey. Eight out of 10 renters have been in their current residence more than two years, and about half have not moved in over five years. Forty- three percent of respondents indicated that they intend to occupy their current residence for at least two more years, with 22 percent 8% 6% 3% 2% 2% 73% 75% < Age 78%

13 CURRENT RESIDENCE Renters do not move as frequently as might be perceived, with the median tenure being five years, according to the C.A.R. Renters Survey. Eight out of 10 renters have been in their current residence more than two years, and about half have not moved in over five years. Forty-three percent of respondents indicated that they intend to occupy their current residence for at least two more years, with 22 percent claiming they will stay put more than five years. The average renter intends to remain in their current home for 4.6 more years. The majority of renters (51 percent) live in apartments, while 27 percent live in a singlefamily home, and 22 percent in a townhouse, condominium, or other dwelling. Most rentals include two bedrooms (71 percent) and one bathroom (56 percent). The average monthly rent is $1,160, varying by the size of the residence ranging from $984 per month for a one-bedroom, to $1,445 per month for a four-bedroom. their rent upon renewal of either their annual lease (27 percent) or their monthly lease (6 percent). Of the respondents whose rent has increased since they moved in, the majority (27 percent) said the increase happens at their annual lease renewal. This is much more common for those who lease apartments, 29 percent of which have had a rent increase at this time, compared to the 7 percent of house renters. It is also much more common for those who deal with a management company (32 percent) compared to those who work directly with the owner (15 percent). The median rent increase was 2 percent with 77 percent of survey respondents claiming that their rent increased by 4 percent or less. A small proportion of renters (2.3 percent) reported quite dramatic increases of more than 20 percent, and 7.2 percent of renters saw rent increases between 10 and 20 percent. The demographic that experienced the greatest rent increase was the 13 group of renters who pay less than $700 per month. This group had an average increase of 5.4 percent in their rent. 48% 48% 38% 28% 27% 22% EXHIBIT 4: AMENITIES INCLUDED IN RENT With most renters claiming to have lived in their current residence for an average of over four years, their monthly rent expenses remained rather constant. One in three renters did see increases in their rent either upon renewal of their annual lease (27 percent) or their monthly lease (six percent). The average rent price includes basic amenities for most renters, such as parking, water, and trash collection. Of the respondents whose rent has increased since they moved in, the majority, 27 percent said the increase happens at their annual lease renewal. This is much more common for those who lease apartments, 29% of which have had a rent increase at this time, compared to the 7% of house renters who have experienced this. It is also much more common for those who deal with a management company (32 percent) compared to those who work directly with the owner (15 percent). Other amenities: Sewer, Appliances, Recycling, Pool, Storage Space, Secured Entrance The median rent increase was two percent with 77 percent of survey respondents claiming that their rent increased by four percent or less. A small proportion of renters (2.3 percent) reported quite dramatic increases of more than 20 percent and 7.2 percent of renters saw rent increases between 10 and 20 percent. The demographic that experienced the greatest rent increase was the group of renters who pay less than $700 per month. This group had an average increase of 5.4% in their rent. With most renters claiming to have lived in their Nearly half (46 percent) of renters said that their rent has not increased since they moved in. current residence for an average of over four years, their monthly rent expenses remained rather constant. One in three renters did see increases in Predictably, renters who recently moved in were more likely to give this answer. Interestingly, people who rented single family homes were much more likely to say their rent has not increased (63%), meanwhile 36% of apartment dwellers say they have had their rent increased since they moved in. Figure 6: Amount of Most Recent Rent Increase Nearly half (46 percent) of renters said that their rent has not increased since they moved in. Predictably, renters who recently moved in were more likely to give this answer. Interestingly, people who rented single-family homes were much more likely to say their rent has not increased (63 percent). Meanwhile, 36 percent of apartment dwellers say they have had their rent increased since they moved in. With higher rent, there are generally more amenities included in the monthly rent. This is particularly the case for recreational amenities. Of those that pay $1,500 or more, 34 percent have a pool, 25 percent have a barbecue, 22 percent have an exercise facility, 21 percent have a Jacuzzi, 17 percent have a club house, 6 percent have basketball courts, and 9 percent have tennis courts Home Renters Survey

14 14 Frequency 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 41.1% 16.5% 12.6% 11.2% 6.8% 4.9% 7.0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6%- 10% 11%+ % Rent Increase EXHIBIT 5: AMOUNT OF MOST RECENT RENT INCREASE With higher rent, there are generally more amenities included in the monthly rent. This is particularly the case for recreational amenities. Of those that pay $1,500 or more, 34 percent have a pool, 25 percent have a barbeque, 22 percent have an exercise facility, 21 percent have a Jacuzzi, 17 percent There are also large regional differences in what is reasonable rent price and the neighborhood as have a club house, 6 percent have basketball courts and 9 percent have tennis courts. There are also large included regional differences in the monthly in what is rent. included Renters in the monthly in Northern rent. Renters in the Northern most California important are characteristics in selecting their more California likely to have are recycling 65 more likely percent- -, to have while recycling 65 those Southern California home. are more The likely least to important have characteristics were other percent while types of amenities 67 those percent in Southern have parking California and 31 percent are have a pool. related to school, which is reflective of most renters The majority more likely of renters to have selected other their types current of home amenities 67 for the reasonable rent being (30 percent) single or for and the not having children. neighborhood percent (22 have percent). parking The other and 31 amenities percent mentioned have a as pool. reasons for choosing their current residence include being near work or family, the size of the residence, having For privacy, renters the who school are district, sensitive to rent expenses, or being The near majority shopping. of Renters renters also selected rated reasonable their current rent price home and the neighborhood reasonable as rent the most is a very important factor. Of the important for the characteristics reasonable in selecting rent (30 their percent) home. The or least for the important characteristics respondents were related who pay to $700 or less in monthly school, which is reflective of most renters being single and not having children. neighborhood (22 percent). The other amenities rent, 62 percent rated reasonable rent as an Figure mentioned 7: Importance of as Specific reasons Characteristics for choosing Selecting Rental their (Scale: current 1-10, 10=Most important) importance of 10 on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 residence include being near work or family, the being extremely important. The average rating was size of the residence, having privacy, the school 8.9. Of those who pay over 15 $1,500 in monthly rent, district, or being near shopping. Renters also rated only 43 percent ranked reasonable rent at 10, and the average rating was 8.1. Reasonable Rent Price The Neighborhood Near Shopping Ameniles Near Work Allows Pets Near Park/Outdoor Aclviles Near Restaurants Near Family Near Public Transportalon The School District Near Children's School Near Your School EXHIBIT 6: IMPORTANCE OF SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS IN SELECTING RENTAL (SCALE: 1-10, 10=MOST IMPORTANT) Reasonable rent is also more important for those looking for an apartment than for those seeking to rent a house (8.7 vs. 8.6). The survey asked respondents what they dislike most about their current residence. About one-quarter of renters did not have any gripes; the remaining three-quarters listed the building being old and needing improvements, rent For renters who are sensitive to rent expenses, reasonable rent is a very important factor. Of the respondents who pay $700 or less in monthly rent, 62 percent rated reasonable rent as an importance of 10 on a one to 10 scale, with 10 being extremely important. The average rating was 8.9. Of those who pay over $1,500 in monthly rent, only 43 percent ranked reasonable rent at 10 and the average rating Section Title 13

15 being too high and increasing, poor maintenance, and lack of space among their reasons for disliking their current residence. Households that rent a single-family home tend to be more satisfied with their choice. Thirty-five percent of people who rent a single-family home said nothing was wrong, compared to 22 percent of apartment renters. About half of rental properties are managed by management companies, and 44 percent are managed by the owner. There is a significant difference between the management of houses and apartments 65 percent of apartments are managed by a management company and 12 percent are managed by an owner, versus 42 percent and 50 percent, respectively, for singlefamily homes. Those who rented from an owner were more satisfied with the management of their home than those who deal with a management company. This could also be related to the fact that those who dealt with management companies were more likely to have their rent raised. The average satisfaction for those who dealt with an owner was 7.6, while the average for those who dealt with a management company was 7. Overall, renters are very satisfied with the management of their homes, with 7.3 being the overall satisfaction level. RENTERS AS FUTURE HOME BUYERS The recovering housing market has been accompanied by higher home values and tight underwriting, which has been offset by low mortgage interest rates. Greater housing costs led to diminishing housing affordability for many Californians who have been increasingly likely to make the decision to rent instead of buy. In May 2014, the median price of a single-family detached home in California was $465,960, an 11.7 percent increase from May Low inventory and falling affordability have pushed sales down by 9.5 percent from May Additionally, median household income has been almost stagnant in the aftermath of the economic recession. According to the C.A.R. s 2014 first quarter Housing Affordability Index, only 33 percent of Californians can afford to buy the median-priced home. Gen Y has been disproportionally affected by the economic recession and is most likely to be priced out of the ownership market. Amounting to an estimated population of about 80 million people nationwide, Gen Y has been waiting out a bad economy. Many living in their parents homes are just now looking to rent a place of their own. This pent-up demand is twice as big as any past demand for rentals in American history. Of course, with a large increase in demand and limited supply, rent prices have been rising nationally at a rate of 4 percent annually and 7-9 percent in some metropolitan areas. And although renting now, three-quarters of Generation Y would want to own a home if they could afford it (Yonder, 2012). However, as many surveys on renters have shown, renters are paying high rent prices rather than purchasing a home out of financial necessity, not choice. More than seven out of every 10 renters agree that owning a home is important, according to the C.A.R Renters Survey. Furthermore, nearly half (49 percent) of the renters surveyed rate the importance of homeownership as very important the median rating was 8, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely important. Couples with children and Hispanic renters are much more likely to feel strongly about the importance of homeownership. Hispanic renters gave an average ranking of 7.8, while couples with children demonstrated a close level of importance at an average of 7.6. Homeownership is also seen as more important in Southern California than in Northern California, rated 7 versus 6.3, respectively. Despite the housing crisis, the survey found that buying a home is still viewed as a good Home Renters Survey

16 17 47% Equity/ future investment 44% freedom/ control 35% 26% privacy pride of ownership security stability 24% tax deducwons 20% more space EXHIBIT 7: ADVANTAGES OF HOMEOWNERSHIP According to the C.A.R Renter Survey, the majority of renters (52 percent) expect to buy a home. investment. Nearly all renters (96 percent) saw For renters who are not planning on buying a Gen Y renters are nearly twice as likely to buy a home as Baby Boomers. Almost 80 percent of renters advantages in homeownership. While almost half home in the future, the majority claimed that they younger than 35 years of age expect to buy a home in the future. Renters age 35 to 44 are also largely of all respondents believed that gaining equity could not afford it. Other reasons mentioned for expecting and investing to buy for a home their future in the and future, their with children s 2 out 3 indicating not planning so. Telephone to purchase respondents generally are included more a stationary future was and an less advantage likely to of move homeownership, in the near future, online while preference more than for one- third renting, uncertainty (35 percent) about of online economic respondents plan were to twice move as within likely the to mention next couple those of years. and Earned housing income market plays conditions, a large role lack in of renters down expectation reasons. Online to be respondents able to buy a were home; also those three with higher payment, incomes are and more other likely financial to plan reasons. a purchase. times as likely to believe in freedom gained from Figure homeownership 8: Renters Who and Expect were to Buy twice a Home as likely to take While not being able to afford to buy a home pride and feel satisfaction from owning something is the primary reason for renting, there were of their own, compared 78% 78% to telephone respondents. others: inability to obtain a mortgage (9 percent), 67% and general unreadiness for homeownership. 57% 59% 57% According 52% to the C.A.R Renters Survey, the Nevertheless, only about one-fifth 17 of renters said majority of renters (52 percent) expect 40% to 44% buy a they actually like renting. Most often, renters dislike home. Gen Y renters are nearly twice as likely 24% to not being able to build equity, not having control or buy a home as baby boomers. Almost 80 percent 9% freedom to make changes, and unpredictable rent of 47% renters Equity/ younger 44% than 35 years 35% of age expect 26% privacy increases. 24% One in 10 renters 20% indicated that having future freedom/ pride of tax more to buy investmen a home in the control future. ownership security deduclons space Renters age 35 to 44 no sense of ownership is what they disliked t stability are Total also largely expecting < to buy a home in the about renting. <$35K $35K - $50K - $75K+ $49k $74k future, with 2 out of 3 indicating so. Telephone According to the C.A.R Renter Survey, Age the majority of renters (52 percent) expect to buy Annual a home. Income Gen respondents Y renters are are nearly more twice stationary as likely to and buy a less home likely as Baby to Boomers. Although Almost optimistic, 80 percent of renters renters are not in a hurry to For younger move renters in than the who 35 near years are future, of not age planning expect while to more on buy buying a than home one-third in a home the future. in the Renters buy. future, Seven age 35 the out to majority 44 of are 10 also renters claimed largely intend that to they wait could at least expecting (35 percent) to buy of a home online the respondents future, with plan 2 out 3 to indicating move so. Telephone three years respondents before are buying more a home. Waiting will not afford it. Other reasons mentioned for not planning to purchase generally included a preference for stationary within the and next less likely couple to move of years. in the Earned near future, income while more than allow one- third them (35 to percent) save money of online for a down payment and renting, uncertainty about economic and housing market conditions, lack of down payment and other respondents plays a large plan role to move in renters within the expectations next couple of to years. be Earned able income work on plays improving a large role their in renters ability to afford to buy. financial expectation to buy a reasons. home; to be able those to buy with a home; higher those incomes with higher are incomes more are more likely to plan on a purchase. likely 8: Renters to plan Who on Expect a purchase. to Buy a Home Most renters plan to buy a single-family home (77 Figure 9: Reasons for Not Planning to Buy a Home percent) while others 78% 78% want a townhouse, 67% Can't Afford to Buy 57% 59% 41% 57% condominium or mobile 52% Prefer to Rent 14% home, the C.A.R. survey 40% 44% Economic Uncertainty 7% found. The majority 24% Lack of Down Payment 6% plan to stay local; 14 9% RenWng is Less Expensive 6% percent plan to buy in Job Uncertainty 3% the same neighborhood Total < <$35K $35K - $50K - $75K+ Don't Know 3% $49k $74k and 41 percent intend Housing Market Uncertainty Age 2% Annual Income to stay within the same EXHIBIT 8: RENTERS WHO EXPECT TO BUY A HOME For renters who are not planning on buying a home in the future, the majority claimed that they could not afford it. Other reasons mentioned for not planning to purchase generally included a preference for renting, uncertainty about economic and housing market conditions, lack of down payment and other financial reasons Home Renters Survey 15

17 According to the C.A.R Renter Survey, the majority of renters (52 percent) expect to buy a home. Gen Y renters are nearly twice as likely to buy a home as Baby Boomers. Almost 80 percent of renters younger than 35 years of age expect to buy a home in the future. Renters age 35 to 44 are also largely expecting to buy a home in the future, with 2 out 3 indicating so. Telephone respondents are more county. Only 10 percent of renters indicated they Many renters indicated they would begin their stationary and less likely to move in the near future, while more than one- third (35 percent) of online intend to buy in another state. home search online. Internet research is a way to respondents plan to move within the next couple of years. Earned income plays a large role in renters explore the market and find out what is available. expectation to be able to buy a home; those with higher incomes are more likely to plan on a purchase. When asked what would most motivate them It doesn t appear to replace using a REALTOR, to Figure buy 8: a Renters home, Who one Expect in five to Buy mentioned a Home affordable home prices and others said starting their own family (17 percent). 78% 78% Nearly 27 percent of as 74 percent of those that say they will begin their search online also say they plan to use a REALTOR. In fact, online searching for homes may renters would be motivated by 67% some reason, be an effective way for prospective buyers to find 57% 59% 57% including 52% improvement in their credit and down a REALTOR. Age is a factor in how prospective payment assistance. 40% 44% buyers will first begin searching; those under 24% Twenty-six percent of renters have owned or still 9% 35 claimed they will start the search online (40 percent), 21 percent will start with a REALTOR, and own real estate, with older respondents and those with Total higher incomes <25 and more education generally another 22 percent will ask family and friends. The younger <$35K group $35K is more - $50K likely - $75K+ than other generations more likely to have done so. More renters sold their to ask for input $49k from family $74k and friends. Renters Age Annual Income real estate for family or work reasons than for between 35 and 44 years of age are most likely to financial For renters ones. who However, are not planning among on those buying that a home sold in the future, start by the searching majority claimed online that (48 percent), they could while almost after not afford 2007, it. the Other main reasons reasons mentioned for selling for were not planning short to purchase the same generally share of included those between a preference 45 for and 54 years sales renting, and uncertainty foreclosures. about economic and housing market conditions, old (43 percent) lack of down will start payment with and an other online search as financial reasons. well. Those 55 years of age and older are equally The survey also explored how renters plan to begin likely to search online or see a REALTOR (35 their Figure home 9: Reasons search for Not process Planning when to Buy a they Home are ready. percent). Lastly, retirees are most likely to start by Can't Afford to Buy 41% Prefer to Rent 14% Economic Uncertainty 7% While not being able to afford to buy a home is the primary reason for renting, there were others: Lack of Down Payment 6% inability Renlng to obtain is Less a mortgage Expensive (9 percent), 6% and general unreadiness for homeownership. Nevertheless, only about a fifth Job of Uncertainty renters said they actually 3% like renting. Most often, renters dislike not being able to build equity, not having Don't control Know or freedom 3% to make changes, and unpredictable rent increases. One in ten renters Housing indicated Market Uncertainty that having no sense 2% of ownership is what they disliked about renting. 18 Figure EXHIBIT 10: Reasons 9: REASONS for Renting FOR Instead NOT of PLANNING Buying TO BUY A HOME Can't afford to buy Poor credit / Can't qualify Renlng is easier Young/Starlng out/not ready Flexibility/Freedom if renlng Cost/Upkeep/Responsibility Plan to / Saving for down Never considered it/no interest Disabled/On disability 9% 6% 6% 6% 5% 5% 3% 2% 44% Figure EXHIBIT 11: What 10: Renters REASONS Dislike FOR about RENTING Renting INSTEAD OF BUYING No equity/money wasted/no investment 24% No control/no freedom/ Can t make changes 14% Rent: 16 paying, 2013 Home high, Renters increases, Survey increases unpredictable 15% No sense of ownership / It s not mine 10%

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