Many now considering housing a seller's market06/06/2012
After years of being a buyer's market, the real estate sector may be turning to one that favors sellers, a new report suggests.
According to a recent quarterly survey conducted by Redfin, 49 percent of respondents said they considered now a good time to buy. That's down from 56 percent who said the same the last time the poll was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Meanwhile, 28 percent think that today's market is an ideal time to sell, up markedly from the last poll in which just 13 percent indicated it was a good time to be a seller.
While fewer people noted that conditions were amenable to buying, those who did believe that indicated why they felt that way. Among the reasons, which may have included low closing costs, 63 percent said affordable interest rates were the prime motivation for buying. However, that was down from the 73 percent of respondents who responded with the same justification for buying in an earlier poll.
The survey also looked at the reasons why some didn't think it was a good time to enter the home buying market. At 60 percent, low inventory was the prime reason for not buying this year, which was slightly lower than the 63 percent who said limited supply made them hesitant to buy the previous quarter.
"I was very surprised at how few choices there are in our price range," prospective homebuyer Maura Nicastle, who has been looking to buy a place in the Washington, D.C., area, told Redfin. "I think for the next few years we are better off making do in our small home."
But some homebuyers' belief that inventory is minimal may be reflective of the regions of the country they're looking at or the style of house. For example, the survey found that homebuyers who had different ideas in mind for what house to buy found a considerable difference in the availability of properties, not to mention variability in prices.
"What surprised me most was the difference in activity between classes of real estate," survey respondent Ben Mahnke told Redfin. "In Boston metro, entry-level condos in the urban core are seeing a lot of demand. But higher-priced single-family houses in the bedroom suburbs have been sitting unsold for years. The market is coming back, but only selectively."