Balanced Market or Buyer Advantage?

April 10, 2019
New sentiment data show that many Americans believe this spring is a good time to both buy and sell homes. Yet, new analysis says that buyers have the advantage. 
Photo: Bundo Kim/Unsplash

New sentiment data show that many Americans believe this spring is a good time to both buy and sell homes. Yet, new analysis says that buyers have the advantage. 

Increasingly, American consumers are positive about the trajectory of the market overall, according to Fannie Mae's survey data. Some experts are sharing in the optimism as well. Michael Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association, tells The Washington Post that six months ago, “I was guardedly optimistic. Now I’m just plain optimistic.” Chief economist of First American Title Insurance Mark Fleming says,“So far in 2019, we’ve seen mortgage rates decline and wages rise — both trends work to boost home-buying power and fuel greater market potential for home sales, setting the stage for a stronger than expected” season.

All this is well and good, says Issi Romem, chief economist for realty marketing and data site Trulia, but the reality is that the housing market is in cyclical slowdown mode. Inventories of available homes may be increasing, but part of the reason is that houses are staying on the market unsold for longer times in many areas. The price cuts and longer days-on-market times reveal that significant numbers of “sellers are facing greater difficulties in selling.”

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