Real Estate

Buyers Could See More Affordable Homes In The Next 6 months

Homebuyers exhausted by record low inventory and bidding wars may see some relief in the near future, according to a survey from Homes.com.

The online survey, fielded in early May, had 1,600 U.S. adult respondents, of which 267 said they planned to sell their home within the next six months. The survey found that the tough market was not the biggest consideration for those who haven’t put their homes on the market sooner. Rather, among those who planned to sell, 60 percent said they’ve been waiting to list their homes because the timing hasn’t felt right.

Breaking down that 60 percent, 21.8 percent of respondents said their home simply isn’t ready to be on the market and 21.7 percent said they’re waiting for a better time to uproot their family, according to Homes.com. Just 9.5 percent have been waiting for the pandemic to abate while 5.9 percent want to speak to a real estate agent or financial advisor before they list.

The other 40 percent of respondents had market-related reasons for delaying: 20 percent cited concerns about low inventory, 8.6 percent were worried their home wouldn’t sell for what it’s worth, 7.5 percent said low mortgage rates made them feel like there’s not rush to sell and 5 percent cited low homebuyer demand in their local market.

More than half of respondents said that when they do list they plan to list homes valued at $300,000 or less — considerably lower than the record-setting median existing-home price in May: $350,300, per the National Association of Realtors.

“Local market conditions and other factors will ultimately influence the price of these listings, but this finding could indicate that inventory traditionally sought by first-time buyers could relax enough for eager buyers without deep pockets, or for current owners looking to downsize,” Audrey Somero, Homes.com’s marketing and communications coordinator, wrote in a blog post.

Just under half of respondents planning to sell, over 47 percent, said they intended to list a single-family detached home, followed by nearly 29.5 percent who planned to list an attached home such as a condo or townhouse, 13 percent who planned to list a multi-family property such as a duplex or quadplex, 6.2 percent who planned to list a luxury home and 4.1 percent who planned to list a vacation home.

According to Homes.com, 33 percent of respondents planned to use at least one strict parameter when selling, such as refusing to consider offers with contingencies or other “strings attached,” requiring all-cash payments, no contingencies and/or less than 30 days to close, or selling their homes “as is” — lower than the 41 percent of recent sellers Homes.com surveyed with such requirements.

Nearly as many, 32.2 percent, said they plan to make home repairs before listing, considerably higher than 5 percent of recent homesellers who said they made such repairs.

“While most agents don’t recommend waiving inspection contingencies, this finding suggests that desperate buyers may have more choices of ‘move-in-ready’ homes in the near future,” Somero wrote.

“If we’ve learned anything from the past year’s real estate market, it’s that buyers need to be ready for anything. But if our survey respondents are any indication, buyers in the near future could see at least some relief in the homebuying process. Only time will tell what that might look like.”

A realtor.com report released last week also indicated that a buyer-friendly market may soon be in reach.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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