Americans Hopeful Amid Foreclosed Homes

by Simon Lindsay on General

More than 70 percent of Americans have been cutting down on their expenses to prevent their homes from being added to lists of foreclosed homes across the nation, according to online research firm Move Inc.

About 75 percent have been foregoing entertainment, vacations and eating out; about 72 percent have been reducing their expenses on personal care, clothing and accessories; while more than 71 percent have been reducing utility usage and traveling less to reduce gasoline and related costs.

The survey, conducted in the first week of March with more than 1,000 respondents, also found that more than 50 percent fear that their houses or those of other people they know will become foreclosed homes next year. Surely they are bothered by the continued rise of foreclosure rates, the soaring number of jobless Americans and business enterprises which are either closing or downsizing.

Despite these fears of foreclosures, about one-fourth of people surveyed said they have plans of buying a house in the next several years, with nearly 13 percent planning to buy within the next couple of years.

Additionally, more than 18 percent have plans of buying a house this year to capitalize on the tax credit worth $8,000 offered to first time homebuyers under President Obama’s program to stop the increase of foreclosed homes. Also, more than 50 percent of respondents planning to buy a house within the next nine months are people buying a home for the first time.

Americans are also changing their views about home ownership and the housing market. More than 62 percent are planning to stay in their homes, as opposed to buying them and selling them later for investment purposes.

Meanwhile, nearly 57 percent of Americans believe in the role of mortgage fraud in the credit crisis. They believe that eliminating mortgage fraud can help rejuvenate the housing market. About 52 percent are calling for lower mortgage rates and about 44 percent want more tax breaks for first-time homebuyers to entice them to buy and help reduce the number of foreclosed homes.

According to Steve Berkowitz, chief executive of Move Inc., the survey results indicate that Americans are generally hopeful about home ownership despite economic difficulties and despite soaring numbers of foreclosed homes. Their efforts to reduce their personal spending, to participate in loan modification schemes and to capitalize on several provisions of President Obama’s efforts to reduce the number of foreclosed homes show the higher-than-expected level of optimism among Americans.