Amid High Interest Rates and Inflation, American Homeowners Would Rather Renovate Than Buy a New Home

Discover Home Loans conducted a survey to determine what client intentions are for their homes, and whether they are choosing to renovate their current property or buy a new house to best fit their needs and style preferences.

It was found that high interest rates are having a high impact on homeowners in the United States with 84% of those planning to buy a new home pushed out of the market due to such. In addition, it was also found that of those impacted, 46% are no longer looking for a new home, 35% are less committed to searching and 30% have lowered their budget. Rates would need to fall for this group to purchase as 66% of respondents are planning to wait for the 30-year-fixed rate to drop below 5% before seriously considering purchasing a home.

“When the Fed does gain confidence that inflation is under control, rate decreases are likely to be modest and gradual,” says Rob Cook, vice president of marketing at Discover Home Loans. “In the meantime, the housing market may remain sluggish. Consumers should reset their expectations and budgets accordingly.”

According to Businesswire, Interest rates are also modifying homeowners’ preferred financing options. Only 9% of homeowners plan to use a cash-out refinance for their home improvement project, down significantly from 24% in 2023. “Homeowners are understandably avoiding lending options that would impact the rate they currently have on their primary mortgage,” says Cook. “In this rate environment, home equity loans are an attractive option as they allow homeowners to leverage the available equity they have in their homes without modifying their existing mortgage.”

Inflation also has a significant impact on homeowners’ finances, with 49% of respondents reducing discretionary spending and 33% choosing to delay home renovation projects. For those who pursue home renovations, many are feeling inflation’s impact with 47% of respondents indicating their project is costing more than they expected and 30% stating they have reduced the size of their project.

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