Among renters who one day hope to own a home, a poll finds a dramatic increase in the number who now say that they intend to buy in the near future.

Offering more evidence of a swing toward home ownership as the housing market continues to recover, the survey by PulteGroup reports that about six in 10 of those renters plan on buying a home in the next two years.

That’s a 60% increase among those potential home buyers in the past year, PulteGroup reports. “We’re definitely seeing a renewed sense of optimism,” said PulteGroup spokeswoman Jacque Petroulakis.

The PulteGroup survey’s results fit other findings in 2012 that bode well for home prices and sales in 2013, according to Jed Kolko, chief economist of listing service Trulia.

Kolko attributes the reported rise in renters’ interest in home buying to an improved economy, which has helped potential buyers save for down payments, as well as to rising home prices, which have bolstered consumer confidence in the housing market.

The top reasons renters polled in the survey cited for wanting to buy in the near future were:

  • They like being able to call themselves home owners (49%).
  • They view it as a good financial investment (44%).
  • They need more space for their family/children (36%).

Demand rising for multigenerational homes

The PulteGroup survey also found that, compared to two years ago, twice as many home owners now expect to have adult children or aging parents living with them.

Thirty-one percent of respondents to the 2012 survey said that they anticipate at least one adult child moving back home in the future, while 32% expect to take in an aging parent.

The demographic shift to multigenerational homes is likely to spark construction of more “smart” homes that break from recent tradition, Petroulakis said. “What’s important is that the home is planned smart … that it really maximizes your communal space.”

Extra bathrooms, downstairs bedrooms, and large kitchens are examples of features that characterize these homes, she said.

Multigenerational homes share of total households already has swelled over the past decade. They are up by 30% between 2000 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Source: Pulte