More Inventory Could Open up as U.S. Homeowners Plan to Sell

MB Daily News-Raleigh NC: 64% of sellers plan to list by the end of the summer and 42% are planning to ask for “more than their home is worth”

The chronic national inventory shortage may ease somewhat this spring and summer as more U.S. homeowners plan to sell their homes and take advantage of the heated housing market, according to a new survey from Realtor.com released Wednesday.

Around 64% of prospective sellers in 2022 plan to list their homes over the course of the next six months, according to the firm’s data, indicating a potential return to seasonality in housing markets that have spent the past two years upended by Covid.

“Homeowners who are ready to move forward with pandemic-delayed plans will find plenty of opportunity this spring and summer,” Realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu wrote in the report. “Although accelerating inflation is leading to higher housing costs and living expenses, many buyers remain interested in finding a home.”

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After back-to-back years of aggressive price growth, sellers are optimistic about their potential listing prices, with 42% planning to list for “more than their home is worth” and 28% refusing to pay for repairs or improvements ahead of a sale. (In 2021, 29% of sellers surveyed plan to ask above their home’s value, and 24% refused to make improvements.)

The top motivation among sellers surveyed was a tie between a desire to profit off the current housing market and their current home no longer fitting their family’s needs.

Of the sellers surveyed, 12% want to sell their home for between $750,000 and $1.5 million, and 5% want to sell for $1.5 million or more.

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“The upper segment of housing is still somewhat insulated from rising mortgage rates sidelining buyers,” Mr. Ratiu told Mansion Global. “With savings from a couple of years of remote work and solid investment market returns, buyers in luxury markets maintained a quick pace, with sales of properties priced above $1 million advancing 21% in February 2022, compared with the prior year.”

The U.S. housing markets still broadly favor sellers, and while the report notes that buyer demand may be starting to moderate, 80% of recent sellers surveyed sold at or above their asking price.