Borrowers Shopping Around Less Often Than Two Years Ago, Survey Finds

The impact of the mortgage meltdown appears to have caused little change in borrower behavior during the past two years, according to a new Zillow Mortgage Marketplace survey of 2,729 adults conducted on its behalf in April by Harris Interactive.

Borrowers report they are spending no more time researching a home loan today than they did in 2008, and those who obtained a loan in the past five years are soliciting fewer quotes – an average of three quotes versus four in 2008.

Borrowers who obtained a home loan in the past five years typically spent just five hours researching their options, which is unchanged from March 2008, Zillow says. Nearly one-third of respondents – 31% – spent two hours or less. This is on par with the typical time spent researching a vacation or computer purchase, and half the time consumers typically allocate to research a car purchase.

‘The last few years should have driven home the lesson that understanding one's home loan is critically important, but mortgages continue to be something that most people don't want to spend time thinking about,’ said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. ‘Not understanding a home loan can have catastrophic consequences. Starting from our first survey two years ago, I've been surprised that people spend more time shopping for cars and televisions than they do researching mortgages. I'm further surprised that they spend no more time shopping for mortgages now than they did two years ago, even in the midst of an unprecedented foreclosure crisis."

In the past five years, 16% of U.S. adults report they have obtained or refinanced a home loan and two-thirds of those admit they want to do things differently when shopping for their next home loan.

Of the borrowers who want to do things differently, 58% would like to compare terms for loans on an apples-to-apples basis, 56% would like fees standardized and easier to understand and 52% would like it to be easier to shop around for rates. Half the respondents would like to get more than one quote without sharing personal information.
SOURCE: Zillow


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