Consumers may have recovered from the shock of paying nearly $4 for a gallon of gasoline back in 2008. But household finances don’t contain a great deal of slack. The new economic reality means people are looking to save money on recurring expenditures such as CPGs and gasoline. At the same time, more nontraditional retailers are trying to break into the gasoline market as a way to expand revenue. Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, Nielsen, remarks that “even though gas prices are reasonable relative to recent years, consumers continue to employ money-saving strategies, such as using coupons and gas purchase incentives, as means to deal with gas costs given overall economic concerns."
Tag: real estate
Ask anyone in the real estate business and they’ll tell you the housing market has changed drastically in the past few years. Census Bureau data indicates that between 1945 and 2007, we were a nation of movers with up to 20% of us relocating annually. Often the moves meant consumers were selling one home and buying another. But in 2008, the mover rate dropped to 11.9%. Though that rate increased slightly to 12.5% in 2009, the top line numbers don’t show the whole story.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the vacation home market is showing signs of recovery, with sales up nearly 8% and increased prices (up nearly 13%) following three years of declines. More than 70% of vacation home sales in 2009 were in the South and West regions. While baby boomers have historically led vacation home purchases, nearly half (47%) of the buyers in 2009 were under 45 years of age, with a median income of $87,500 — down from $99,100 just two years ago. According to the Vacation Home Buyers Survey, the Internet plays an increasing role in the purchase of vacation homes, with nearly a third (32%) of vacation home buyers first looking online for properties for sale, up from 22% in 2008.
When the real estate market started its steep plunge in 2007 and 2008, the ad market for this sector dropped as well. A recently published report by Borrell Associates points to a 20% decrease in real estate marketing during 2009 which brought total spending from $24.4 billion to $19.6 billion. But the outlook for 2010 is improving in the category.
As the housing market continues to struggle, builders are seeking demographic groups that represent potential buyers. Consumers in the 55+ demographic comprise one segment that might be willing to purchase a new home, if the price and the amenities are right. According to jointly funded research by the National Association of Home Builders and MetLife Mature Market Institute, up to 12% of consumers in this group plan to buy a home and about 26% are undecided about their future purchase plans.
The federal tax credit for first-time home buyers has been extended through the end of April 2010. Generally, lower home prices and the tax credit extension are key factors in luring first-time home buyers into the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors reported that first-time buyers comprised 47% of the 2009 market share. In 2008, first-time buyers made up only 41% of the market.
It might be the result of the shrinking family size in the U.S. Or it might be linked to consumers’ budgetary concerns. But there’s a new trend in the country’s housing market – think small.
By any count, there is a significant number of foreclosed properties either already on the market or about to be listed for sale. RealtyTrac analysts expect the number of foreclosed homes to affect the housing market through 2014. But according to Harris Interactive, U.S. consumers aren’t always lining up to purchase these properties.
The financial markets signaled excitement about rising home sales by closing higher on Monday. Most investors welcomed the good news that home sales in October had risen for the second month in a row. Experts believe more buyers are coming into the market because of two factors: Falling prices and the federal tax credit for first time home buyers.
Traditional retailers have plenty of reason to be nervous about renewing leases. There’s the slow but steady climb of e‑commerce which continues to increase market share and is predicted to account for 8% of all retail sales by 2013. And then there’s the projected long-term leveling off U.S. consumer spending. All of these changes have experts looking for continued store closings through at least the first half of 2010.