Home Seller Optimism Rose 16% in January

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A monthly seller-sentiment index recorded a notable spike in the number of homeowners who think it’s a good time to sell – a possible sign of more future listings.

WASHINGTON – Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, based on a survey of 1,000 consumers, suggests that more homeowners view home selling favorably. The index’s component on home-selling conditions month-to-month rose 16 percentage points on net last month.

“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices and low housing inventory as their primary rationale,” says Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan.

“Among owners and higher-income groups, however, the other five components of the index remained relatively flat or slightly negative, suggesting to us that some consumers are waiting to gauge the effectiveness of any new fiscal policies and vaccination distribution programs on both housing and the larger economy,” he adds.

Duncan also noted that lower-income and renter groups reported more optimism in January across nearly all of the index’s components.

Overall, the January index found that 57% of consumers feel it’s a good time to sell a home, increasing from 50% the month prior, and 41% of consumers believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months. In addition, 21% of consumers said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, and the percentage who said their household income is significantly lower decreased to 14%. About 64% said their household income is about the same.

Source: Realtor Magazine (02/09/21)

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