Economic Gains Spark Confidence in Buying, Selling

Thursday, March 16, 2017— Economic gains have sparked confidence in home-buying and -selling, with 80 percent of those surveyed in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey believing now is a good time to buy and 69 percent believing now is a good time to sell—an outlook carried over from optimism about the broader economy. A record 62 percent of those surveyed believe the economy is improving, with respondents in the Midwest exuding the most positivity.

"Confidence levels generally rise after a presidential election as the nation hopes for the best," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. "Even though it is a highly polarized country, consumers for the most part have upbeat feelings about the economy right now. Stronger business and consumer morale typically lead to even more hiring and spending, which in turn encourages more households to make big decisions like buying a home. These positive developments would be especially good news for prospective homebuyers in the more affordable Midwest region."

Over 62 percent of those surveyed—also a record—believe their financial situation will improve in the next six months.

The trend, however, is being tamped down by renters. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed believe now is a good time to buy—a steadily declining share.

"Inventory conditions are even worse than a year ago, and home prices and mortgage rates are on an uphill climb," Yun says. "These factors are giving many renter households a pause about it being a good time to buy, even as their job prospects improve and wages grow. Unless there's a significant boost in supply levels this spring, these constraints will unfortunately slow or delay some prospective buyers' pursuit of purchasing a home."

"Demand far outpaces supply in many parts of the country right now, which means homeowners will likely sell their home much quicker than the time it takes to buy another," says NAR President Bill Brown. "Before listing, it's best to have a carefully crafted plan in place. In addition to assisting in the hunt for a new home, a REALTOR® is an invaluable negotiating partner in the common situation where a buyer's new home purchase is contingent upon selling their property currently up for sale."