Most renters who plan to become homeowners say it will be at least two years before they make the leap, and more than one out of four renters say they’ll never buy a home, according to an online survey by Harris Interactive.
The "American Dream" survey, conducted in July on behalf of property search site Trulia.com, included 1,345 homeowners and 663 renters.
Among those surveyed, 72 percent considered homeownership to be "part of their personal American dream," down from 77 percent six months ago.
Among renters who plan to become homeowners, 68 percent said they aren’t planning to make their move in the next two years. But 79 percent of that group said they could be prompted to take action in the next 12 months if their circumstances changed.
Among that group, 47 percent said they could be spurred into action if they were able to save enough for a downpayment. Another 28 percent said a new job would be a tipping factor, while 27 percent said that if mortgage rates stay low or get lower they could be persuaded to take action.
About one in four said they needed to be persuaded that it made more financial sense to buy than rent (24 percent), and 23 percent said a job promotion or raise could get them off the fence. Only 9 percent said they are looking for signs that their local real estate market has stabilized.
The survey also found that few Americans are interested in homes smaller than 1,400 square feet or larger than 3,200 square feet.
While 9 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a home between 800 and 1,400 square feet and 14 percent were undecided, 77 percent indicated a preference for a larger home.
Nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent) would prefer a home that’s larger than 2,000 square feet, but only 9 percent said their ideal home size is greater than 3,200 square feet.