I have definitely seen more buyers vying for homes as the year has been progressing. I have also been running scenarios on renting vs. buying in some areas and the numbers work out great! I have a 2 bedroom/1.5 bathroom condo in the Alum Rock area – with 25% down there is a positive cash flow if an investor snapped it up. But a renter-turned buyer with 20% down could also be getting the benefits of homeownership at the same price as renting – meaning they would have tax advantages so they would be ahead of the game.
A lot of things have temporarily at least created a great environment for homeownership – low interest rates, low priced homes and the 1st time buyer credits – although the Federal credit goes away April 30th and the State credit will most likely be exhausted by mid-May.
A recent survey done by Century 21 states – More than 80% of first-time home buyers and sellers feel the current housing market is more affordable today than this time last year. See the survey results here – http://www.pr-inside.com/century-21-real-estate-releases-results-r1844819.htm
Couple that with the news regarding renting vs. owning which showed up in the DailyNews today – http://www.dailynews.com/business/ci_14916092
The trend to new homeownership is definitely happening.