Financial instability is top reason why non-homeowners in the US are not planning to buy a new home, regardless of their household income, finds survey; 81% of current homeowners have no current plans to buy a new home

NEW YORK , May 29, 2014 (press release) – RateWatch Data Analyzes Trends in Home Buying and Loans

Today, RateWatch, a premier banking data and analytics service owned by TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST) released the results from of a survey: Home Lending: Today's Customer. The data shows how consumers are thinking about home buying, whether they're looking to buy their first property or turnaround their current home, what their priorities are in finding a home and a lender and what interest rates they expect to pay.

The survey found that a lot of people are happy in their current homes and the majority of those that don't currently own are not looking to buy a home and their current finances are why:

  • 81% of current home-owners have no plans at this time to purchase a different home.
  • Non-home owners consistently listed financial instability as a contributing factor for not buying a home regardless of their household income (HHI):
    • 24% with an annual HHI over $150,000
    • 38% with an annual HHI between $100,000 and $149,999
    • 28% with an annual HHI between $50,000 and $99,999
    • 32% with an annual HHI between $25,000 and $49,999
    • 31% with an annual HHI between $0 and $24,999

"Interestingly, the survey found that a quarter of potential homebuyers just don't feel financially stable enough to commit to a house and it didn't matter how much money they made," reported Debra Borchardt, Markets Analyst for TheStreet. "It's understandable that someone making less than $25,000 a year doesn't feel like they can afford a home, but it's shocking that someone who makes over $150,000 a year feels equally poor. Higher home prices could be a good reason why with homes hitting record high prices and inventories hitting a low."

The survey also revealed differences between how men and women handle their loans, financing, and home buying process:

  • Men are more likely than women to have their current home paid off, with 31% of men carrying no loan on their home and only 21% of women carrying no loan on their home.
  • Men are significantly more likely than women to be aware of refinancing options, but not take advantage of them, with 47% of men choosing not to refinance versus only 35% of women.
  • When beginning the home buying process, women are more likely to look up their credit score first, contact a realtor, then find a house they would like to buy, whereas men are more likely to find a house they would like to purchase, search for rates, and then contact a realtor.

The survey found that interest rates were extremely important to consumers:

  • When selecting a lender, respondents said that the most important factor was rate, followed by monthly payment amount and term length. The type of institution (bank vs. credit union) was least important.
  • 4% to less than 5% was the most common maximum interest rate that respondents would be willing to pay on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

For more about this survey, please visit

Survey Methodology
This survey aims to understand the behaviors and preferences of consumers regarding their current loans and future loan plans. Survey responses were obtained through a third party service with questions distributed March 28 to March 30, 2014 to consumers ages 18 and older throughout the United States. 608 total unique responses were received with 527 having completed the full survey.

About RateWatch
For over 20 years, RateWatch has been the premier provider of competitive interest rate and product information to financial institutions across the United States. Consistently providing top quality, highly relevant data RateWatch maintains the largest database in the industry with deposit, loan, and fee information monitoring over 97,000 locations. Rate surveys, product comparisons, financial strength reporting, local/regional/national averages, fee reporting, specialty reports and more are available. To learn more about RateWatch, visit RateWatch is a division of TheStreet, Inc.

About TheStreet
TheStreet, Inc. is the leading independent digital financial media company providing business and financial news, investing ideas and analysis to personal and institutional investors worldwide. The Company's portfolio of business and personal finance brands includes: TheStreet, RealMoney, RealMoney Pro, Stockpickr, Action Alerts PLUS, Options Profits, MainStreet and RateWatch. To learn more, visit The Deal, the Company's institutional business, provides intraday coverage of mergers and acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control. To learn more, visit

Emily Scheer

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SOURCE TheStreet, Inc.


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