Redfin’s Real-Time Home-Buyer Tracker: Buyers Become More Confident

Here at Redfin, we try hard to figure out when real estate’s going up or down. Because we’re the only broker that employs agents with salary and benefits, market shifts can leave us with idle employees on the payroll, or with customers we have to refer to other brokers. Guessing wrong has cost us millions.

Fortunately, we have unique data. Unlike a pure website, Redfin knows who’s actually touring homes and writing offers. We can tell you whether more people toured homes this weekend as compared to last and how many decided on Sunday night to make an offer.

Unlike a traditional broker, Redfin stores the contact details and activity history of every customer, so we can provide more personalized service. In February 2012, we began surveying our customers to develop a real-time portrait of how 1,000+ active home-buyers feel about the market.

Today, we’re launching the survey results as a regular report, The Redfin Real-Time Home-Buyer Tracker, updated with data for the second quarter of 2012. What we found this quarter mostly is evidence of a strengthening market:

  • 49% of respondents believe now is a good time to buy, down from 56% last quarter;
  • 28% believe now is a good time to sell, up from 13% last quarter;
  • 58% believe 2012 prices will increase, up from 34% last quarter;
  • 63% cite low interest rates as the reason to buy now, down from 73% last quarter, but still the most popular rationale by a large margin;
  • 60% cite low inventory as a primary reason not to buy this year, down from 63% last quarter, but still the most common complaint by a large margin;
  • 58% of respondents said they were “very interested” in conventional sales, up from 48% last quarter; demand may be broadening beyond bargain-hunters shopping for foreclosures;
  • 71% of respondents who had signed an offer reported facing competing offers; and
  • 64% of all respondents had said they would be “disciplined” in a bidding war, paying only a little more, compared to 27% who said they would not compete at all, with 10% saying they would pay whatever it took.

For the full report including data tables and charts, visit the Real-Time Market Sentiment in Redfin’s Research Center.

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