Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Q3 2013

November 14, 2013

Men and Women View Homeownership Through Different Lenses; Real Estate Agents Act as ‘Couples Therapist’ in Decision Process

Prudential Real Estate, an HSF Affiliates LLC company, and Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® released results of its third quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating men and women don’t necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to homeownership and the responsibilities related to home-buying and selling.

Men claim to be more responsible for financial aspects while women assume the lead for neighborhood research and planning portions of the process. While 39% of men in partnerships claim researching banks and securing a mortgage are completely their responsibility, 42% of women in partnerships indicated it is their sole responsibility to manage appointments and 34% take the lead in researching neighborhoods.

Women also seem to enjoy the process of purchasing a home more so than men. A full 87% of women said they enjoy looking at homes compared to 77% of men. Moreover, feelings associated with homeownership are more pronounced in women than in men. When asked about the reasons why homeownership is “very important,” more women associated it with a sense of pride or accomplishment (16% higher than men) and independence (11% higher). For men, “control over living space” and “more space for my family” were most important.

“As the real estate market strengthens and household formation grows, men and women approach the buying-selling process from different angles,” said Earl Lee, chief executive officer of HSF Affiliates LLC and president of Prudential Real Estate. “What’s most interesting is the dynamic that exists among couples and the role that agents play in balancing couple’s real estate objectives.”

A gap seems to exist between men and women about the perception of shared responsibilities involved in purchasing and selling homes.

71% of females say that making the down payment is a shared responsibility compared to 56% of males.

53% of males are more likely to say researching schools is a shared responsibility compared to 42% of females.

65% of females say collecting and evaluating assets and/or financials is a shared responsibility whereas only 54% of males say the same.

63% of men say keeping the house in order for a potential buyer is a shared responsibility compared to 47% of women

The sexes stand in agreement on the “most important home features,” ranking “safe neighborhood,” “overall condition of the home” and “number of bedrooms” ahead of others.

Still, the varying points of view between men and women place agents in the middle, serving as the local-market expert and often the voice of reason. Of those surveyed and in a partnership, 83% said their last real estate agent was helpful in forming an agreement with their partner and 86% value the agent’s point of view as much as or more than their partner’s.

Both women and men cited “honesty” and “knowledgeable” as the most important qualities in a real estate agent, and 92% of respondents said their agent was helpful in the real estate process.

Confidence Remains in the Marketplace

Consumers remain confident in the recovering real estate market, according to the survey. Their favorability perception of residential real estate at 73% rose to the highest level since the survey began in 2011.

Homeownership continues as a priority to nearly all survey respondents, as 96% described it as “very important” or “somewhat important.”

“People believe in real estate and want to take advantage of the housing opportunities out there,” said Stephen Phillips, chief operating officer at HSF Affiliates LLC. “A home is a solid, long-term investment on which you can live and build your dreams.”

The full survey details are available upon request. An infographic illustrating survey findings is available here.

Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey Methodology

Interviews with 2,641 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home were conducted online by Edelman Berland in August and September 2013. Respondents are aged 25-64 with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought/sold a home or are considering buying/selling a home. The margin of error is ± 2.0% for all respondents.