Industry News

Housing boom or bust?

Consumer survey points to interest rates, first-time buyers for answers

About 88 percent of Americans responding to a survey of their home-buying plans for 2004 said they don't plan to buy this year, global marketing research firm Ipsos-Insight reported. That leaves 12 percent of respondents who said they will purchase a house this year. Nearly half of them will be first-time buyers. Although there are more people who will not buy homes than those who will buy, experts at Ipsos-Insight believe the numbers refute the idea that the housing market boom will bust in 2004. Many consumers are still planning to buy homes, take out home equity loans or refinance, despite predictions that home sales will decline this year. "While most experts have predicted 2004 home sales will drop off from the all-time record sales seen in 2003, consumer intentions seem to indicate that if there is in fact a sales decrease, it may only be a slight decline," Ipsos-Insight SVP Greg Mahon said. But some experts are convinced the housing boom is indeed a bubble waiting to burs...