LendingTree Survey: Financial Benefits of Homeownership and Housing Affordability Motivate Potential Homebuyers

     LendingTree Survey: Financial Benefits of Homeownership and Housing
                 Affordability Motivate Potential Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers dominate the homebuyer market as both mortgage rates and
home prices are expected to rise

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June18, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --In recognition of Homeownership
Month, LendingTree surveyed a panel of 600 individuals who are considering
purchasing a home within the next 12 months, conducted online by Research Data
Technology, Inc. from May 21-23, 2013. The survey revealed that prospective
homebuyers expect both mortgage rates (64%) and home prices (68%) to rise over
the next 12 months, indicating that today's housing market presents an ideal
time to purchase a home.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110518/MM04455LOGO )

Interestingly, 72% of home buyers residing in the western United States
anticipate higher residential prices, compared to residents of the
northeastern United States where 59% share this outlook. Of those surveyed,
57% are first-time homebuyers with the home buying urgency between active
(45%) and more casual (55%) shoppers.

"The housing market is stabilizing and financing is becoming more available
for potential home buyers," said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of
LendingTree.com. "Increasing home prices are providing would-be sellers with
the confidence needed to take action, while rising interest rates are placing
a sense of urgency on potential home buyers. Together this creates a unique
window of opportunity for buyers and sellers to take advantage of the market
while home prices and rates are still reasonably affordable."

Outlook on Household Finances
Active home seekers (80%) are more optimistic about their households'
financial condition 12 months from now, compared to casual home seekers (70%).
Less active home seekers cited they require more confidence in their household
financial situations before home ownership moves into sharper focus.
Forty-three percent (43%) of less active homebuyers cited improvement in
household economic conditions (23%) and the need to save for a down payment
(20%) as their top two reasons for being less committed to home purchase at
this time. Additionally, 27% of experienced homeowners stated their top reason
for the casual pursuit of a home at this time is they need to sell their
current home.

Mortgage Process and Loan Preferences
The guiding attribute in future mortgage applications is affordability. When
asked what percentage of the home purchase price did you put down or expect to
put down when you find the home you want, forty-four percent of home seekers
expect to put down less than 15% of the home purchase price, 37% expect to put
down from 15-24%, and 19% will put down greater than 25%. The preferred type
of mortgage sought by homebuyers is the fixed rate mortgage. As for expected
loan type, 45% of home seekers expect to apply for a 30-year fixed rate
mortgage, 36% a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, only 7% will seek an adjustable
rate mortgage, with 12% of respondents unsure of their loan preference.

Shopping around for a mortgage is deemed worthwhile by most home buyers with
66% of homebuyers believing the variance in rates is 25bps to 75bps across
lenders. Additionally, 49% percent of respondents claim they would apply the
money saved on a mortgage payment towards debt reduction and they cite
mortgage brokers as the most influential source for mortgage-related
information, followed by the Internet and real estate brokers.

Time consuming paperwork is considered the most annoying aspect of the home
buying process for 31% of respondents. Uncertainty about the fairness of their
mortgage rate (30%) is tied with complexity of terms (30%) for the top causes
of frustration in shopping for a mortgage. A lack of knowledge about mortgages
and complexity of the terms bothered first time buyers.

Homebuying Motivators
Financial and habitat circumstances are motivating home shoppers to become
homebuyers. Approximately 42% of potential homebuyers cited the financial
benefits of owning versus renting as a main driver for their decision to buy
while 32% said they needed more space to accommodate growing families. Other
reasons for seeking a home include upgrading to better neighborhoods (32%),
relocating (24%), downsizing for affordability (10%) or downsizing because of
empty-nester status (9%).

Among casual homebuyers and those intending to start searching for a home
within 12 months, 23% are waiting for their household's economic situation to
improve and another 20% have to save more money for a down payment. These are
their single largest hurdles to overcome before they can become more committed
homebuyers.

About the Survey
Survey results are based on 600 individuals who are considering purchasing a
home within the next 12 months. These potential homebuyers participated in an
online survey conducted by Research Data Technology, Inc., on behalf of
LendingTree, on May 21-23, 2013. The 600 respondents represent a targeted
sample of potential homebuyers that were selected from a consumer panel of
individuals in the US with access to the Internet. The margin of error in this
survey is +4%. This means that in 19 cases out of 20, survey results based on
600 respondents will differ by no more than 4.0 percentage points in either
direction from what would have been obtained by seeking the opinions of all
eligible individuals who are online and thinking about purchasing a home.

About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation's leading online source for competitive home
loan offers, empowering consumers during the mortgage, refinance or auto loan
process. LendingTree provides an online marketplace which connects consumers
with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of
online tools and information to help consumers find the best loan. Since
inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 30 million loan requests and
$214 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to
lenders offering mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of
credit, and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of Tree.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:
TREE). For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, join
our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Megan Greuling
(704) 943-8208
Megan.Greuling@tree.com

SOURCE LendingTree, LLC

Website: http://www.lendingtree.com