Economists say 2011 is the year of the “jump ball economy” – “so many consumer decisions are up in the air,” says James Chung, president of Research Advisors.
According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, household incomes were on the decline during the past decade, even before the Great Recession hit:
• Workers ages 15 to 24 saw a roughly 12 percent decline in income between 2000 and 2009, about the same as those aged 45 to 54.
• Households 25 to 34 years old saw incomes decline 10 percent
• Households 35 to 44 saw approximately 8 percent decline.
• Heads of households between 55 and 66 saw a 1 percent increase in income, while those 65 to 74 saw an income growth of 10 percent
The recession moved consumers out an era of, well, consuming, into a period of economizing, anxiety, frugality and self-preservation, according to Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, chief marketing officer for Newland Real Estate Group in San Diego.
Polling results from Yankelovich (The Futures Group) show the following homebuying trends as indicators of responsibility and good citizenship:
• Making sure the home is as energy-efficient as possible (65 percent)
• Not buying a home that is larger than you really need (42 percent – up from 34 percent in 2007)
• Further, 22 percent said that a home that did not offer savings through energy-efficiency was a deal-breaker, and add 19 percent said that they would pay more for a home that offered energy-efficient
Lastly, 61 percent of the consumers surveyed by Newland last year said they plan to spend less than $300,000 on their next home, up from 51 percent two years before.