By Peter Ricci
The housing market continued to show signs of incremental improvement in Redfin's latest Real-Time Seller Survey, a study of the homebuyers attitudes towards real estate in the fourth quarter.
A sample of 1,287 homeowners throughout the nation, the Real-Time Seller Survey covered quite a span of topics, including home prices, financing preferences and the top concerns facing home sellers in the current housing market.
Real-Time Seller Survey – Incremental Progress
As opposed to Redfin's third quarter survey, which found sellers to be a reluctant, pessimistic bunch, the fourth quarter Real-Time Seller Survey finds many of those icy attitudes thawing out as the housing market slowly recovers:
- Thirty-one percent of respondents are thinking of selling their home now, up from 25 percent in the third quarter; similarly, 33 percent of sellers are opting to wait more than a year before listing their property, which is down from 38 percent in the earlier survey.
- Furthermore, 15 percent think now is a good time to sell, up from 13 percent in the third quarter, while 58 percent think now is a good time to buy, down from 61 percent.
- Finally, 66 percent of respondents expect home prices to increase in the next 12 months and only 5 percent expect them to decrease, numbers that would have been unimaginable a year ago. In fact, some respondents reported rising prices as a concern!
Consumer Confidence Returning to Housing
Perhaps the most notable survey result involved housing's relationship to the greater economy. Forty percent of the respondents said that the economy was a major concern of their when selling, which is down from 49 percent in the third quarter.
Glenn Kelman, said in comments accompanying the Real-Time Seller Survey that what matters at this point is how sellers interpret the housing market.
“Economists agree that the market hit bottom some time earlier this year and low interest rates have brought out more buyers than we’ve seen in years, but most sellers decided to wait for better prices," Kelman said. "These attitudes aren’t changing dramatically from one quarter to the next, but the direction has been remarkably consistent among both buyers and sellers: the market is slowly tilting in sellers’ favor.”