Real Estate

NAR: More Americans are ready to buy homes, but will this momentum last?

38% of survey respondents say now is a good time to buy a home

Homeowner optimism continues to trend upward, with new data from the National Association of Realtors indicating more Americans are ready to put their homes on the market.

According to the group's second-quarter HOME survey, 46% of Americans strongly believe now is a good time to sell a home, up from 37% in the first quarter.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes this jump in optimism to an increase in home prices, albeit at a moderate pace.

“With home price appreciation slowing, home sellers understand that the days of large price gains from holding an extra year are over,” Yun said.

NAR’s data indicates that homebuyers are ready to take advantage of this slowing appreciation, as 38% of survey respondents said now was a good time to buy a home.

“An increased number of Americans also think that now is a good time to buy a home, and of those respondents, 38% answered that they strongly believe that notion, and 27% said they moderately believe the present is a good time to buy,” NAR writes. “Thirty-five percent disagreed, stating that now is not a good time to make a home purchase, which is unchanged from 2019’s first quarter.”

This unwavering pessimism may be attributed to moderate price gains in local markets, as many survey respondents indicated that home prices in their communities were rising.

According to the survey, the share of respondents who believe local home prices have risen over the year rose to 63% in Q2 of 2019.

However, when respondents were asked about their perceptions regarding local home prices in the near future, 43% said they expect prices to stay the same over the next six months.

Even though this rate remains the same as last quarter’s, a whopping 49% still believe prices will rise in the next six months.

This may be cause for pause as 27% of respondents, who do not currently own a home, said they believe it would be very difficult to qualify for a mortgage due to their financial state.

Despite their financial concerns, Yun said that mortgage affordability was promising over the second quarter, and he predicts this trend will continue.

“Lower mortgage rates, along with job and wage growth, will lead to an increase in sales and thereby contribute positively to economic growth in the upcoming quarters,” Yun concluded.

NOTE: The National Association of Realtors HOME Survey was administered through TechnoMetrica. The survey was conducted from January 2019 through March 2019 and represents a total of 2,710 household responses.

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