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Spooky dreams: ‘Nearly 70% of US buyers ready to purchase haunted house’

Spooky dreams: ‘Nearly 70% of US buyers ready to purchase haunted house’

In a twist that sounds straight out of a Halloween tale, a majority of potential home buyers are now more willing to purchase a house they believe is haunted. According to a recent survey by Zillow, the chilling state of the housing market is proving to be a greater concern for Americans than the prospect of sharing their home with the supernatural.
The survey, conducted in September and October, polled 901 recent and 993 prospective home buyers. The results were startling: 67% of prospective buyers expressed that they could be convinced to buy a haunted house. Delving deeper into the reasons, it becomes evident that the primary motivation is cost. A significant 35% of respondents said they’d be open to buying a haunted house if it were more affordable than similar, presumably ghost-free, homes in the vicinity.
Manny Garcia, a population scientist at Zillow, described the current housing scenario as a “witches’ brew of trouble for would-be homeowners.” Garcia pointed to the stubbornly high prices, weak inventory, and soaring interest rates as the culprits behind this eerie trend.
Many homebuyers are turning to the “bank of Mom and Dad” to make their homeownership dreams come true. A recent Zillow report highlights that nearly 43% of these buyers have been aided by financial gifts or loans from family or friends to cover their down payment. Additionally, many are exploring down payment assistance programs, which Zillow prominently displays for every home listed for sale. To decrease their monthly mortgage expenses, a Zillow Home Loans survey indicates that 45% of buyers are opting to pay a higher initial amount to purchase points, thereby reducing their interest rate.
The backdrop to this ghostly willingness is the haunting reality of the housing market. Mortgage rates have skyrocketed, with 30-year rates reaching a staggering 23-year high of 7.63%. This is a drastic increase from the 3.1% seen in October 2021. The Federal Reserve’s decision to hike the federal funds rate from near-zero to over 5% in an attempt to control inflation has played a significant role in this surge. As a result, interest rates for homes, cars, and other consumer loans have seen a sharp rise, making mortgages increasingly unaffordable for many.
While there has been a slight reprieve for buyers with median home prices dropping from a record $479,500 in 2022’s fourth quarter to $416,100 in the second quarter of this year, the overall picture remains grim. Home prices are still about 30% higher than they were at the end of 2019, before the pandemic threw the housing market into chaos.
Another alarming fact is the plummeting housing affordability, which hit its lowest point since the 1980s this summer. This is based on data from mortgage provider Black Knight, which analyzed the rise in household income in comparison to monthly home payments. Given these daunting figures, it’s no wonder that many are considering the possibility of a haunted house as a viable option.

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