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Help Is on the Way for Hopeful Homebuyers, According to Realtor.com Survey

April 27 2021

Ten percent of homeowners plan to list this year and more than a quarter (26%) within the next 3 years, offering relief to frustrated home shoppers

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 26, 2021 -- The lack of homes for sale has hit a crisis-level in recent months, igniting fierce competition, bidding wars and driving prices to an all-time high -- but there's hope on the horizon for weary buyers, according to new survey data from realtor.com®. Findings show 10% of homeowners are planning to put their home on the market this year and an additional 16% are planning to list in 2-3 years.

Furthermore, 58% of the homes that owners plan to list this year are valued below $350,000, which should provide some relief for first-timers who have had trouble breaking into the market. Of those who plan to sell this year, 63% have already listed or plan to list within 6 months and 76% have already taken steps to begin the process. Realtor.com® surveyed 657 potential home sellers the week of March 29 via HarrisX.

"In a typical year, we see about 8% of the nation's homes hit the market, and we're expecting about 25% more this year," said George Ratiu, senior economist, realtor.com®. "This signals that many homeowners who were wary to list during the pandemic are getting ready to do so, and this much-needed inventory -- especially for starter homes -- will begin to relieve buyers' challenges in a very competitive market. Despite this good news, we were in an inventory shortage, for both new and existing homes, well before the pandemic and COVID made it worse. It's going to take a while for us to get back to a more balanced 'normal' even with an increase in new construction on the horizon."

The housing market's catch-22

Of those who are planning to put their home on the market in 2-3 years, a quarter of respondents said they aren't listing this year because they can't find a new home within their price range, creating a catch-22 for inventory. Other reasons that homeowners aren't planning to sell this year include: not sure where they want to move (23%); the current economic climate (22%); logistics of buying and selling at the same time (22%); and concerns about showing a home during the pandemic (20%).

What it will take to move the needle

Nearly all potential sellers (91%) looking to sell in the next 2-3 years said that they would be more likely to list their home if they knew they could time buying and selling perfectly. Additionally, 37% of homeowners with plans to sell in the next 2-3 years said that if they knew they could make a lot of money on their home sale, they would be motivated to list sooner. And with the median home listing price currently up 18.7% over last year, many homeowners are likely to see a significant profit if they list now. Other factors that could prompt future sellers to list sooner include: more affordable homes on the market (33%); not having to handle the logistics of buying and selling at the same time (29%); not having to prepare the home for sale (27%); and if the health risks of COVID-19 were lower (24%).

"With home prices at historic highs, now is a great time to sell a home and many first-time sellers might be surprised to learn how much equity they have," said Rachel Stults, deputy editor for realtor.com®. "For consumers who are worried about the stress and planning involved, there are a number of resources available to help with everything–from perfectly timing buying and selling to removing the hassles of doing repairs and staging."

Home sellers can take advantage of realtor.com® tools such as local market stats and the My Home portal, to see what their home is worth, how much equity they have and potential proceeds from a sale. Those who haven't sold a home recently might be surprised by how many selling options are available. With realtor.com®'s Seller's Marketplace, consumers can compare different selling methods including instant offers, sale-leasebacks and listing with an agent.

Methodology: Realtor.com® commissioned HarrisX to conduct a national survey of consumers. The total sample size was 3,998 adults. The survey was carried out online. The sampling margin of error of this poll is ±1.6 percentage points. The figures represent a national view of US adults. Results were weighted for age, gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. In addition to the population of US adults, an oversample was collected for potential sellers. The oversample was weighted to align with the original sample of US adults. There are 657 potential sellers with a sampling margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points.

About realtor.com®

Realtor.com® makes buying, selling and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit realtor.com.