Homebuyer Confidence Increases for the First Time in 2013 Latest Redfin Survey Also Finds Many Buyers Have Unrealistic Mortgage Rate Expectations

SEATTLE, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage, today released its latest Real-Time Homebuyer Survey, capturing the sentiment of 518 homebuyers in 22 U.S. markets. Respondents toured homes with Redfin agents in the last three months, and data was collected from November 21 through 24.

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Homebuyer confidence has begun to increase for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2012. Nevertheless, homebuyers again expressed frustrations about low inventory, rising prices and fluctuating mortgage rates. Despite a slight decline in the percentage of home buyers concerned about rising mortgage rates from the third to fourth quarter, new survey questions revealed that homebuyers are highly rate sensitive and the historically low mortgage rates that have persisted since early 2012 may have produced unrealistic rate expectations among most buyers.

"With fewer people shopping for homes as the holidays approach, buyers that remain in the market are enjoying greater negotiating power and lower competition than they have seen all year," said Redfin economist Ellen Haberle. "This confidence boost won't last long, however. Our survey this month revealed that many buyers hold wildly unrealistic mortgage rate expectations. As rates rise in 2014, many will face a tough adjustment."

Results Snapshot:

  • After three consecutive quarters of decline, 28% of survey respondents said now is a good time to buy a home, up from 24% in the third quarter;
  • Just 46% of survey respondents said that now is a good time to sell a home, down sharply from 63% in the third quarter;
  • 60% of respondents cited low inventory as their top concern about buying this year, followed by 52% who chose rising prices;
  • 85% of respondents said that mortgage rates were important in their home-buying decision; and
  • 53% of respondents considered "normal" mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed rate loan to be in the 4-5% range. Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed rate loans have averaged 6.7% since 1990.

The Redfin Real-Time Homebuyer Survey is a companion to the quarterly Seller Survey and Agent Survey. Click here to view full report, including charts and graphs.

Redfin also took an in depth look at homebuyers' expectations for mortgage rates. The full report can be found in the Redfin Research Center. Additional data is also available by contacting press@redfin.com.

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About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not sales-people, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin's online tools feature all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don't pay brokers a commission. The company serves 22 U.S. markets and has closed more than $13 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.



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