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Current Home Sellers Concerned About Financing Availability, Inventory

While homeowners are feeling more confident about the prospect of selling their homes, they do harbor concerns regarding the availability of home financing and the low inventory available for their next purchases, according to the Redfin Real-Time Seller Survey released Tuesday.

About 38 percent of home sellers say now is a good time to sell a home, according to the Redfin survey conducted in the first quarter of the year.

This is up from 34 percent in the previous quarter and up significantly from 22 percent a year ago.

Denver Redfin agent Paul Stone captures survey-takers’ sentiment, saying, “Most of my home-selling clients worry the most about what will happen after they sell.”

“With so much competition in the market, they fear they will have to move in with their in-laws if they can’t find their next home quickly,” he added.

In fact, the top two concerns for home sellers in the first quarter were the low inventory of homes available for their next home purchases and the financing environment, which might preclude potential buyers from being able to purchase their homes.

Low inventory was also a top concern in the previous quarter, cited among 30 percent of respondents, but concern about buyer financing is up 5 percentage points from the previous quarter.

“These concerns likely reflect higher prices and mortgage rates, which have harmed affordability, and stricter lending regulations that went into effect in January and could impact some buyers’ ability to get a loan,” stated Redfin analyst Ellen Haberle.

Redfin added a new category to its survey, “competition for next home,” which was marked as a concern among 27 percent of survey respondents.

While sellers have increased their concerns regarding financing, they are substantially less concerned with the overall economy.

In the fourth quarter, 39 percent of survey respondents cited “general economic conditions” as a concern. In the first quarter, just 26 percent reflected this concern.

Mortgage rates played at least a partial role in more than half of current home sellers’ decisions to list their homes for sale, according to the Redfin survey. Fifty-two percent of sellers said mortgage rates were a factor in their decision.

More sellers plan to upgrade to a larger or nicer home than to downsize or move to a different location. Forty-four percent of sellers plan to upgrade after selling their current home, whereas 29 percent plan to move to a new location, and 16 percent plan to downsize, according to Redfin.

Redfin surveyed 466 homeowners in 22 metros across the country for its quarterly survey.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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