Facebook friends can be a powerful motivator when it comes to home ownership, according to a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Researchers found that Facebook users whose friends had a positive home ownership experience are more likely to be influenced to buy a home of their own.
Consumers who had online networks post about their home values rising more than 5 percent over the past two years, for example, are 3.1 percent more likely to buy a home over the next two years, researchers found. What’s more, they are 1.7 percent more likely to purchase a bigger home, 3.1 percent more likely to pay a higher price for it, and 7 percent more likely to make a larger down payment.
In the study, researchers evaluated nearly 1,250 responses to a housing market survey distributed to Facebook users in Los Angeles as well as LA public deed records of nearly 434,000 renters and more than 1 million home owners.
“You hear everyone’s making money in the housing market and suddenly you think it’s a better investment,” says researcher Johannes Stroebel, a New York University finance professor. The study “shows that your social network and your experiences within your social network are an important factor of your financial decision making.”
Source: “Facebook Is Motivating Home Buying Decisions,” (REALTOR®Mag, May 26, 2016)