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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.

Buyers want to buy now, while sellers are inclined to wait

January 24, 2013

Of the 895 respondents recently surveyed by online real estate broker Redfin, less than half, 49% to be exact, indicated that they were planning to sell their homes.

Even further, only 22% believe now is the time to sell. While this is up from 15% in the fourth quarter, the number remains relatively low.

This, in large part, is based upon the fact that 81% believe home prices will rise in 2013. Those in the 81% are not far off, as the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported just that in its latest house price index. In fact, from November 2011 to November 2012, prices rose 5.6% and are predicted to continue their upward trajectory into 2013.

Because of this, some sellers are more inclined to wait. More than 34% of sellers indicated that missing out on future price gains was a major concern.

These future price gains have buyers wanting to get in now too, before prices jump much higher. Of those surveyed, 54% believe now is a good time to buy.

Recently, the Mortgage Bankers Association noted that its home purchase index grew 3% from the prior period, a number that is expected to keep growing in the year ahead as prices continue to rise.

We sit in a very transitional phase in housing right now. With mortgage rates anticipated to hit as high as 4.5% by the end of the year, buyers are doing whatever it takes to get into their home now. However, prices are continuing to climb, and many sellers don’t want to sell prematurely, potentially missing out on greater price appreciation.

Only time will tell, but for those looking to buy, it is important to remember that rates can change within a day and the time to buy really is now.

mhopkins@housingwire.com

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