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Survey: Consumers Wants More Information on Buying Process

Phil Hall
Mar 10, 2015

Consumer confidence in the housing market is improving, according TD Bank's third annual Mortgage Service Index, although many people had issues with the level of homebuying information offered by lenders.

In a survey of roughly 1,456 adults, 30 percent of Americans considered now to be a very good time to purchase a home and 29 percent of consumers said they were likely to purchase a home this year. In comparison, the 2014 survey found only 20 percent were optimistic about buying a home and 21 percent said they were likely to make this type of purchase.

Even more encouraging was discovering that half of the Millennials surveyed said they were either very or extremely likely to purchase a home within the next year, while more than more than one-third of this youthful demographic considered now a very good time to purchase a new home.

Although a majority of homebuyers queried in this survey (86 percent) believed they possessed sufficient resources to educate themselves about the homebuying process, 51 percent of respondents felt that lenders could offer more helpful information online and 49 percent said lenders should provide better frontline training to equip loan officers to more clearly explain options. Furthermore, 52 percent of buyers wanted lenders to host more home financing seminars and workshops (compared with only 40 percent of all respondents) and 58 percent of first-time homebuyers say they were looking for additional information online (compared with 51 percent of all respondents).

Malcolm Hollensteiner, director of retail lending sales and production at TD Bank, expressed concern that too many potential home buyers were not aware of options that could make their purchase easier to pursue.

“The Mortgage Service Index found that only 28 percent of consumers are successfully using mortgage affordability programs, which demonstrates that a significant number of potential buyers may be missing the opportunity to purchase a home,” said Hollensteiner. “In our current housing market, a critical first step for buyers is to educate themselves on the financing process by speaking with multiple lenders and learning about the loan options available to them. Lenders today should be working with borrowers on a case-by-case basis in order to find the loan option that best meets their needs and budget.”

One significant negative aspect that the survey found was the decrease in satisfaction this year over inventory—54 percent, compared with 57 percent last year.

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