Survey: ‘Homeowners just don’t want to sell’

From the OC Register….by Jonathan Lansner and Jeff Collins.

A recent survey by Redfin provides insight into why home ownership is at historic lows, the online hometracker says.

Redfin’s poll drew responses from 816 owners from 20 markets around the country, including Orange County, who indicated they had intentions to sell their homes.  The survey, conducted earlier this month, shows:
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  • 80 percent believe their home would fetch a higher price in one to two years
  • 46 percent would consider renting out their home instead of selling it
  • 32 percent intend to price their home higher than the comps
  • 35 percent would choose an all cash offer over a higher financed offer
  • 49 percent cited the economy as a major concern with selling their home
  • 61 percent believe it’s a good time to buy

That adds up to a market of reluctant sellers who have higher expectations for the future, Redfin says. But, the company said in a statement: “While home price increases are good for consumer confidence, the housing market needs sales volume for a true recovery.”

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman:

“The would-be sellers we surveyed have made it clear that inventory is not going to meaningfully increase anytime in 2012, which will limit sales volume gains — and the lift that real estate delivers to the economy this year. We believe the main problem is not, as conventional wisdom would have it, that people can’t sell because they’re underwater on their mortgage. The problem with sales volume is that most homeowners just don’t want to sell. And why would they? Most sellers believe prices will only get better over the next two years, and many can now rent their place for more than their monthly mortgage payment. The great majority of listings come from people relocating to another city rather than listing for market-driven reasons. We believe the owners who are listing their homes will continue to test demand for higher asking prices, while the builders who have plenty of homes to sell will have a big chunk of the market all to themselves.”

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