In four of the past five months, including the most recent report in August, showed existing home sales continue to fall, however this is not due to a lack of confidence from consumers about home buying and selling.
The third quarter brought a rebound in consumer sentiment on the housing market, according to the Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey from the National Association of Realtors.
After dropping to just 52% of renters in the second quarter, the share of renters who believe now is a good time to buy increased to 62% in the third quarter, the survey found. This is also up from 60% of renters in the third quarter last year.
Overall, sentiment is the highest among current homeowners, households with higher incomes and those living in the affordable Midwest and South regions. The share of homeowners who said now is a good time to sell increased to 80%, a new survey high. This is up form 75% last quarter and from 67% last year.
The survey showed despite these gains in confidence, Americans continue to struggle in the competitive housing market. About two-thirds of households responded that saving for a down payment is challenging and about half of renters said they expect to pay more in rent next year.
The number of households who said the economy is improving increased to 57% in the third quarter, up from 54% last quarter and 48% last year. The positive outlook was amplified among those living in suburban areas and those with incomes above $50,000 per year.
However, once again, the reality is that most non-homeowners do not plan on buying a home anytime soon, despite their confidence that now is a good time to buy. NAR’s survey showed over half of renters believe their rent will increase within the next year.
However, they also answered that if their rent does increase, 42% will still resign their lease or move to a cheaper rental. Only 15% of renters answered that they would consider buying a home.