In a survey by TD Bank, more than a quarter of those polled in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties who bought a house in the last 10 years said they are ready to shop again, the survey found.
Twenty-eight percent of the respondents surveyed between Jan. 26 to Feb. 3 said they are very or extremely likely to purchase a home in the next year or so, compared with only 9 percent in 2014 and 11 percent in 2013.
This year’s South Florida survey of 159 people was part of a national poll of 1,450 consumers who purchased a home within the past 10 years. The margin of error for both the local and national surveys was 2.6 percent, TD Bank said. The global research company Vision Critical conducted the poll.
In South Florida, “people are finally finding the confidence to buy again,” said Brian Betzler, a Boca Raton-based TD Bank regional sales manager in charge of Florida mortgage operations.
A separate survey from Zillow.com found that South Florida renters are gaining confidence in the housing market. More than 161,000 renters in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties say they plan to buy in the next year, the Zillow report says.
Zillow measured renter and homeowner confidence in 20 major metros on a 100-point scale. Readings above 50 indicate general confidence. South Florida homeowners scored 72, while renters were at 68.3, but renter confidence grew at a faster rate over the past year.
Renters are becoming fed up with steadily increasing rents and view homeownership as the more stable option long-term, said Svenja Gudell, an economist for the Seattle-based real estate website. “They’re having to spend more and more of their incomes on rent, and that’s a tough position to be in because it takes away their flexibility,” she said.
Nationwide, residents of South Florida, San Jose and San Francisco were the most confident in the housing market, Zillow said. South Florida’s composite score, for renters and homeowners together, was 70.6. Among the 20 major markets, only San Jose (71.5) had a higher score.
“But while this confidence is heartening, it’s important to inject a note of reality here: Not all renters who want to buy this year will be successful,” Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in a statement. “Saving a down payment, qualifying for a mortgage and finding an affordable home to buy all remain formidable challenges for many.”
South Florida homebuyers are looking at a competitive market for houses priced between $250,000 to $400,000, TD Bank’s Betzler said. Locals are competing against new people moving into South Florida, he said. “Condos are moving a little bit slower,” Betzler said.
Still, 85 percent of the homeowners surveyed in South Florida consider now a good or very good time to buy. Nearly two-thirds say there are “lots” of homes currently on the market to choose from.
The poll shows the South Florida housing market continues to improve after it was one of the hardest hit areas from the housing bust, Betzler said. More than a third — or 36 percent — of the current homeowners polled in the three counties said they had bought a home in the last two years compared with 21 percent in the 2014 survey. Four of 10 surveyed in the poll were first-time homebuyers.