Homebuyers Feel the Impact of Higher Mortgage Rates, Finds Latest Redfin Survey

Rising Rates cause Some Buyers to Speed Up Their Search While Others Slow Their Pace

Sep 04, 2013, 09:00 ET from Redfin Corporation

SEATTLE, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage, today released its latest Real-Time Homebuyer Survey, capturing the sentiment of 1,722 homebuyers in 22 U.S. markets. Respondents toured homes with Redfin agents in the last three months, and data was collected from August 23 through 26.

This survey included new questions regarding mortgage interest rates to evaluate the effect rising rates are having on homebuyers. While low inventory continues to be a main source of homebuyers' frustration, rising mortgage rates are a nearly as common of a concern. Survey respondents blamed surging rates for harming their ability to buy a home and for changing the pace of their home search. In contrast with previous quarters' surveys, this report shows marked decreases in buyers' expectations that home prices will continue to rise. Additionally, fewer buyers believe now is a good time to buy a home. At the same time, fewer believe now is a good time to sell.

 Results Snapshot:

  • 63% of respondents indicated that rising mortgage interest rates are making it harder for them to afford a home;
  • A majority of respondents said rising mortgage rates caused them to alter the pace of their home search, with 33% speeding up their search, 20% slowing it down, and 1% halting their search efforts;
  • 63% of buyers believe that now is a good time to sell a home in their neighborhood, down from 66% last quarter, the first drop in three quarters;
  • 24% said that now is a good time to buy a home in their neighborhood, down from 32% last quarter, and from the rate's peak 48% in the fourth quarter of 2012;
  • 58% of buyers cited low inventory as a major concern with buying a home now, down from 66% last quarter and five points more than the 53% of respondents who indicated that rising mortgage rates were a top concern.

"Our survey results underscore buyer sensitivity to this summer's mortgage rate fluctuations," said Redfin economist Ellen Haberle. "Should interest rates spike again in the coming months in response to a tapering by the Federal Reserve of asset purchases, we could see a significant drawback or even a temporary freeze in buyer activity."

The Redfin Real-Time Homebuyer Survey is a companion to the quarterly Seller Survey and Agent Survey.

About the Q3 2013 Redfin Real-Time Homebuyer Survey

Between August 23 and 26, 2013, analysts surveyed 1,722 active homebuyers who had toured a home with a Redfin agent since May 15, 2013. Respondents came from 22 metropolitan markets in the U.S.: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Long Island, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Click the following link to view a full report, including charts and graphs. http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-market-sentiment. For additional or segmented data, contact press@redfin.com.

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 $8 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider. Follow us on our blog (blog.redfin.com), Twitter (@redfin), and Facebook (facebook.com/redfin).

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SOURCE Redfin Corporation