81% of Home Sellers Believe Home Prices will Continue to Rise; Missing Out on Future Price Gains Surpasses the Economy as Top Concern

Responses to Redfin’s Real-Time Seller Survey present a classic good news / bad news scenario. The good news is that homeowner confidence continues to rise—22 percent of sellers believe now is a good time to sell, up from just 15 percent three months ago—indicating a potential easing of tight inventory in the coming months. The bad news is that many would-be sellers continue to opt for renting out their home rather than selling, so any increases in listings are likely to be modest. Even when (or if) more inventory comes, it’s likely to hit later this year than most years, as many sellers have shifted their timelines a few months into the future.

After watching the housing market become increasingly seller-friendly throughout 2012, the year closed with sellers indicating an increasingly positive outlook. Here’s what sellers told us this quarter:

  • 34.1 percent indicated that missing out on future price gains was a major concern about selling now—up from 30.6 percent last quarter and overtaking general economic conditions (33.8 percent, down from 39.7 percent in the fourth quarter) as the top concern;
  • 49 percent of respondents indicated that they were planning to sell, up from 45 percent in the fourth quarter;
  • 21 percent of those not planning to sell are renting out their home, while 47 percent of those who are planning to sell would also consider renting out their home instead of selling, up from 43 percent in the fourth quarter;
  • 22 percent believe it is a good time to sell, up from 15 percent last quarter, while 54 percent believe it is a good time to buy, down from 58 percent last quarter; and
  • 81 percent of sellers believe that home prices will rise in their area in the next 12 months, up from 75 percent in the fourth quarter.

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