Philly Renters Feeling More Confident About Buying a Home

Overall, confidence is wavering among the homebuying crowd.

How are you feeling about the future market, Philly? Mixed-emotions maybe? We’re about to find out, as Zillow has just released their Housing Confidence Index report, which shows just how select metro areas feel about their homes and home-buying expectations.

In national data gathered from surveys taken by 10,000 renters and homeowners in January and July, Zillow found that 18 percent of Philadelphia renters in July said they were hoping to buy within a year, a number up from the 8 percent in January who’d said they planned on doing this. Zillow attributes the hike in the home-buying spirit to a slow-up in home value growth:

Home value growth has slowed in almost all housing markets this year, giving homebuyers some breathing room. In those markets with marked slowdowns, many more buyers are looking to buy their first home.

To be sure, the January crowd were in the midst of a 3.1 percent annual rise in home values, while the July group was seeing Philly home values flattening out.

What’s more, a good amount of these would-be homebuyers are millennials  – i.e. ladies and gents between ages 18 and 34. According to Zillow’s report, these young Philadelphia renters who answered with the home-buying positive in January increased by 23 percent in July.

However, not all are feeling totally optimistic about the future market:

  • In January, 66 percent of Philadelphia homeowners said they felt homes in their area would be worth more a decade from now; in July, only 59 percent felt that way.
  • January saw 62 percent claiming to feel good about the idea of buying a home in that moment; in July, only 56 percent said they’d feel confident doing that.

Conversely, 38 percent said in January that “now would be a good time to sell a home,” while July saw 47 percent affirm this notion.

On the whole, though, Zillow’s press release says homeowners all over the country are feeling more confident about the current state of the housing market than they are about the future one. As an example, 61 percent who’d said they thought recent homeowners would be better off in ten years became 59 percent six months later. Here, Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell offers a look into the elements factoring into this confidence-wavering atmosphere:

“The housing market is slowing down, and Americans’ confidence in the future of the market is understandably fading a bit, too. … Despite remaining quite confident overall, homeowners are less confident about the future than they are about the present. Seeing still stronger than normal home value appreciation in markets like San Francisco and Seattle might remind them of the last housing bubble. But the good news is things are leveling off with no crash in sight. If incomes rise to keep up with home values – and that’s a big if – people can count on homeownership in their future, even in hot markets.”

Below, Zillow’s chart of select metro areas and their housing confidence index.

Chart courtesy of Zillow,

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