News & Media

NAR Survey: 4Q 2019 a Good Time to Buy and Sell Home

Almost 2 in 3 Americans (63%) think it’s a good time to buy a home; 1 in 3 (33%) strongly believe that. On the flipside, 3 out of 4 (74%) think it’s a good time to sell.

WASHINGTON – It’ a good time to buy a home – and also sell one – according to Americans polled in the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) latest consumer survey.

The 2019 fourth-quarter survey found that 63% of people believe it’s a good time to buy a home, with 33% saying they strongly believe that it’s a good time to buy. But even more think it’s a good time to sell. When asked in the survey, 74% of those polled believe that now is a good time to sell.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the positive sentiments can be linked to the strong job market and favorable economic conditions.

“The mobility rate has been very low as many (homeowners) have opted to stay put for longer,” says Yun. “However, this latest boost – Americans saying now is a good time to move – is good news. With mortgage rates low, the timing is indeed ideal for those who want to enter into homeownership and for those looking to move on to their next home.”

Respondents from the silent generation (born between 1925 and 1945) were most likely to state that now is a good time to buy (73%), while younger boomers (born between 1945 and 1964) also overwhelmingly viewed the market favorably in terms of being a good time to buy (70%).

NAR’s fourth quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found that 82% of those who earn $100,000 or more said it’s a good time to sell a home, with 81% of those in the West region agreeing.

“The Western region has seen home prices increase to the point that costs have outpaced income,” says Yun. “So, it is no wonder that those living in the West would think that now is a perfect time to place a home on the market. California especially is seeing some of the highest prices ever.”

The NAR study also asked about local home prices over the past year, and 64% said they believe prices have increased, 30% believe prices have remained about the same, and 6% believe prices have decreased.

Respondents were also asked to share their expectations for local home prices over the next six months: 41% predicted that prices will remain the same in their communities, 48% said they believe prices will rise and 11% expected prices to fall.

At 47%, millennials were most likely to believe prices will increase in their communities. Out of the four major regions, the South had the highest number of residents who said home prices would climb over the next six months.

In general, 52% of the people polled by NAR believe the U.S. economy is improving, which is consistent with the third quarter of 2019. Optimism was highest among individuals who earn $100,000 or more, as well as for those who reside in rural areas compared to other locations.

Less than half (47%) of millennials believe the economy is improving, however – the lowest of all age groups – and only 41% of Floridians in urban areas believe the economy is improving compared to 66% in rural areas.

“Whether it’s a reflection of politics or true economic conditions, there is a difference of views between rural and urban areas,” Yun says.

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