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When there are more home buyers than homes for sale, that’s a seller’s market. Homeowners can get top dollar for their homes, since buyers have fewer options to choose from. That’s the case in today’s market. And, according to Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index, Americans are noticing. In fact, the survey component measuring whether respondents think it’s a good or bad time to sell a house saw a 13 percent increase in participants who said now is the right time to sell. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says Americans are becoming more optimistic and it’s pushing home-selling sentiment higher. “The significant increase in the HPSI in March reflects consumer optimism toward the housing market and larger economy as vaccinations continue to roll out, a third round of stimulus checks was distributed, and the spring home buying season began – perhaps with even more intensity this year, since 2020’s spring home buying season was limited by virus-related lockdowns,” Duncan said. “Home-selling sentiment experienced positive momentum across most consumer segments – nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels and generally indicative of a strong seller’s market.” (source)

 

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of contracts to buy homes that are signed each month. Because contract signings precede closings by several weeks, the index can be a good predictor of future home sales numbers. In February, the NAR found pending home sales down 10.6 percent from the month before but virtually unchanged from where they were one year earlier. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the month-over-month decline is mostly due to the fact that there are too few homes for sale. “The demand for a home purchase is widespread, multiple offers are prevalent, and days-on-market are swift but contracts are not clicking due to record-low inventory,” Yun said. “Potential buyers may have to enlarge their geographic search areas, given the current tight market.” Fortunately, Yun says recent mortgage-rate increases don’t appear to have affected prospective home buyers. And, with the spring market just beginning, homes for sale should start to pick up, which will help bring balance to the market and slow price increases. (source)