The National Association of Realtors second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, out Wednesday, found that 55% of those polled said that the economy is improving, up from 53% in the previous quarter. Second-quarter optimism was greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas. 53% of Gen Xers said they believe the economy is improving, which is also up from 50% last quarter.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said Gen Xers might have more financial pressures compared to other age groups. “Many in the Generation X population find themselves needing to purchase multi-generational homes. Also, they may be feeling financial stress from caring for aging parents and children of all ages. Nonetheless, they have an optimistic outlook about the future,” he said.
To that point, 63% of those polled said they believe home prices have increased within their communities in the last 12 months, a slight jump from the first quarter’s 61%.
The second quarter also saw a jump in optimism in selling, as 46% strongly held that belief, up from 37% in the first quarter.
Yun noted that home prices have increased only moderately and says that is a contributing factor as to why the overwhelming majority feel that now is a good time to sell. “With home price appreciation slowing, home sellers understand that the days of large price gains from holding an extra year are over.”
An increased number of Americans also think that now is a good time to buy a home, and of those respondents, 38% answered that they strongly believe that notion, and 27% said they moderately believe the present is a good time to buy. 35% disagreed, stating that now is not a good time to make a home purchase, which is unchanged from 2019’s first quarter.
Respondents were also asked to share their thoughts on future home prices in their neighborhoods. 43% said they believe prices will remain the same in their communities over the next six months, a figure which is consistent with the previous quarter. 49% said they expect to see a price increase in their communities over the coming six months.
Among those surveyed who do not currently own a home, 27% said they believe it would be very difficult to qualify for a mortgage due to their financial state; 30% said it would be somewhat difficult to qualify.
Yun said that mortgage affordability was promising over the second quarter, and he predicts this trend will continue. “Lower mortgage rates, along with job and wage growth, will lead to an increase in sales and thereby contribute positively to economic growth in the upcoming quarters.”
From April through June, a sample of U.S. households was surveyed via a random-digit-dial, including a mix of cell phones and landlines. The survey was conducted by an established survey research firm, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Each month approximately 900 qualified households responded to the survey. The data was compiled for this report representing a total of 2,708 household responses.