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Facebook is digital peer pressure for homebuyers


NEW YORK – May 27, 2016 – Facebook friends can be a powerful motivator when it comes to homeownership, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research report. What they found: Facebook users whose friends had a positive homeownership experience are more likely to be influenced to buy a home of their own.

Consumers who had friends 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 – and 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 downpayment.

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 homeowners.

"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: "How Your Facebook Friends Can Push You to Buy a Home," realtor.com® (May 25, 2016)

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