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Survey: 25% of Buyers Now ‘Undecided’

Inflation has changed perceptions. More potential homebuyers must now use money to pay for daily essentials, and credit card usage rose 49% in 1Q 2022.

DALLAS – Of those consumers planning to buy a home this year, 30% changed their plans due to the economy or their personal budgets. For some of them (7%), their credit score is no longer high enough to qualify for a mortgage, according to a consumer survey by ScoreSense, a credit score monitoring product.

The survey findings in the “ScoreSense Market Report: Survey of Prospective Home Buyer Behavior and Credit Outlook Analysis,” focused on consumers’ plans – on track or changed – for buying a home this year, as well as an analysis of consumer spending and credit activity in the first quarter of 2022.

Plans to buy a new home in 2022

  • Nearly one out four people who planned to buy a home this year are now undecided.
  • Almost 30% of respondents said the economy or their personal budget changed their plans.
  • Respondents cited inflation as the top reason that influencing whether or not to buy a house this year, but 7% said it was their credit score.
  • The most concerning factor for potential buyers: Finding an affordable home.

Credit changes in the first quarter of 2022

  • Credit card usage skyrocketed, up 49% in the first quarter. The number of consumers who have overspent their credit limits also rose by 30%.
  • The number of delinquent accounts – late payments 30 days to 180 days – shot up 27%.
  • However, major derogatory alerts – late payments of 180 days or more, including collections, repossessions and foreclosures – dropped 17%.
  • New trade accounts (the number opening a new account) rose 7%; however, new inquiries dropped 17%.

“Looking at our analysis of credit behavior for the first quarter of this year and further back to last fall, we’re concerned many consumers under financial duress will continue to increasingly use credit to pay for ‘ordinary’ things, such as groceries and gasoline, and hold that debt instead of paying it off at the end of the month,” says Carlos Medina, senior vice president at One Technologies, LLC.

“We’re highly concerned that late payments and overdue payments that go to collections may increase as well,” he adds. “Lastly, credit scores always matter, but we can see how important good credit is now with lenders tightening loan restrictions, as evidenced in our homebuying survey that revealed many consumers are worried their credit scores are no longer high enough to qualify for a mortgage.”

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