Confident Homeowners Flirt with Selling

Seventy-one percent of homeowners say now is a good time to sell, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’s second-quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey. The percentage is up considerably from the 61 percent of homeowners who said it was a good time to sell last year.

Owners in the Midwest are the most excited about potentially selling at 76 percent, surpassing the West at 72 percent for the first time this year.

The rise in home prices may be persuading more homeowners to list their home. Could that lead to more listings?

Not necessarily, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Yun says there’s a gap between homeowners’ selling confidence and whether they’ll actually list their home.

“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” Yun says. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Still, Yun says, the increase in seller confidence could translate to more added inventory later this year.

“Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the ongoing supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets,” Yun says.

Renters Are Less Optimistic

NAR’s survey also found that fewer renters believe now is a good time to buy. Fifty-two percent of renters say it’s a good time to buy, which is down from 62 percent a year ago. On the other hand, 80 percent of homeowners say now is a good time for homebuying.

“It should come as little surprise that the confidence reading among renters has fallen every month since January (64.8) and currently sits at its lowest level (53.8) since tracking began in March 2015 (65.7),” Yun says. “Paying more in rent each year and seeing home prices outpace their incomes is discouraging, and it’s unfortunately pushing homeownership further away—especially for those living in expensive metro areas on the East and West Coast.”

Source: “Housing Opportunities and Market Experiences Survey,” National Association of REALTORS® (2017 Q2)

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