Is It Time For Home Sellers To Awake?

Blog, Real Estate Tips, Selling
A year of record low inventories of homes for sale and improving prices may finally be catching the attention of millions of prospective home sellers. Is a seller’s market in the offing? According to a November consumer survey released today, 22 percent of homeowners said they are likely or somewhat likely to sell in 2013. Should the sales materialize, the number of homes on the market next year would increase five-fold over 2012. Annualized sales were 4.71 million (as of October), or about 6.2 percent of the nation’s 75 million owner-occupied homes. The survey found that homeowners who bought their homes between 2010 and 2012 and have owned then less than two years are more likely to sell than those who have lived in their homes longer. One out of three homeowners (33 percent) who bought their homes in the past two years said there are likely to sell next year compared to 20 percent who bought before 2002. Most of the new owners seeking to sell are probably move-up buyers who won’t be adding to the overall inventory but will be vacating entry-level homes, which are in high demand in most markets. For years, low home values have frozen move-up buyers in place, many of them underwater. Today 22 percent of owners with a mortgage still owe more than their homes are worth. Rising prices will bring out more sellers, especially if price increases lift them back above water. 2013 could be the year that inventory turns around, just as 2012 was the year that prices started recovering.