SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2022 - Qualia, the leading digital real estate closing platform, today announced the release of its latest Homebuyer Sentiment Index. The results showed homebuyers in certain cases may value a well-coordinated closing experience more than lower lender fees.
The survey, conducted by an independent third-party research firm, Savanta Research, polled more than 1,000 recent and future homebuyers to track how homebuyer expectations have evolved since its last survey in the summer of 2021. The survey revealed key differences between why borrowers first choose their lender, and what they value when choosing to work with them again.
For future borrowers, low rates (49%) unsurprisingly remain the top factor for choosing a mortgage lender. But among recent borrowers, efficiency in the closing process tends to outweigh fees. When asked for the top factors they'd use when considering whether to work with a lender again, borrowers led with "quick response times" (42%) and "how well they helped me through the closing" (42%), slightly ahead of both "on-time closing" (35%) and "how much they charged for fees" (35%).
"Borrowers are expecting the entire purchasing journey to be one cohesive process managed by a united team of professionals," said Brian Thome, Vice President of Customer Success at Qualia. "Support from lenders during the closing process greatly impacts whether borrowers return to them again. There is a huge opportunity for lenders to connect better with their partners to improve those borrower experiences."
Amid significant inflation in the U.S. economy, the survey also found mixed results on the impact of home purchase decisions. Consumers appear slightly more inclined to purchase in light of inflation. Four out of 10 of respondents said inflation would have no impact on their decision to purchase a home. For those that did express that it would impact their decision, it was slightly weighted towards more likely to purchase (24% said inflation would make a purchase less likely, while 36% suggested it would in fact make them more likely to purchase). "Needing more space" remained the top reason that recent homebuyers made a purchase, followed by wanting to avoid paying rent.
"The mixed impact of inflation seems to be telling us that it's not swinging purchase behavior in any one clear direction," says Thome. "The data is much more clear, however, on what consumers are valuing when making those purchases as costs rise: a simpler way to buy and sell homes."
Insights from the survey also revealed:
ABOUT THE QUALIA HOMEBUYER SENTIMENT INDEX
Qualia commissioned Savanta Research to conduct a quantitative online research study between December 14, 2021, and January 4, 2022, among a general consumer pool in the US who recently bought a home or are planning to in the coming 12 months. 1,022 respondents participated in the study. The margin of error is 3.1% at a 95% confidence level. For more information or to view the full results, download the report here or visit Qualia Insight.
Qualia is the category-creating digital closing platform used by over half a million real estate and mortgage professionals. Qualia's cloud-based closing rooms provide the complete infrastructure to streamline the home closing and refinance experience for real estate and mortgage businesses and their clients. The company offers a suite of products that brings together homebuyers and sellers, mortgage lenders, title & escrow agents, and real estate agents onto one secure, remote platform. Since launching in 2015, the company has been named an ALTA Elite Provider, CB Insights Fintech 250, grown to over 500 employees, and has been recognized by Forbes as a Best Startup Employer. The company is a leader in industry security and was the first technology company to join the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud. Qualia is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and has offices in Austin, TX, and Superior, CO. For more information on Qualia, visit www.qualia.com.
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