Nearly a third of all homeowners told analysts at Trulia that they believe 2018 is “a better time to sell” than 2017. Leading those analysts to conclude that national housing inventory woes might be alleviated in the coming 12 months. “At a 17-percentage-point differential, the home-selling sentiment is the second-highest gap we’ve seen since we first started asking the question back in 2014,” they wrote. Home-selling sentiment is the difference between the number of respondents who say that the upcoming year will be better for selling a home and the number who say that it will be worse.
Need More than Just a Feeling
Unfortunately, while there may be more homeowners willing to consider selling, just a good feeling about it will not be enough to alleviate inventory woes in 2018. According to the same survey and the same population of respondents, only about three in every 50 homeowners are actually planning to put their home on the market in 2018, in part because they are not feeling optimistic about buying a home. Only one in four homeowners believe that 2018 will be a better time to buy than 2017, and half simply responded that things will not be worse for buyers in 2018 than in 2017 – not a ringing endorsement.
“This is the first time in the past four years that Americans’ homebuying sentiment for the upcoming year has been a wash,” the analysts observed, noting that only one in 10 respondents said that they are planning to buy a home in the next 12 months. Interestingly, about 40 percent of those planning to buy a home said that they were “more concerned about the threat of natural disaster” in 2018 than they were in 2017. This likely is due to the high number of named storms and other natural disasters affecting multiple areas of the country in the past year.
Real estate investors considering investing in the southern states should be particularly aware of this concern. 43 percent of respondents said that they would be especially worried about natural disasters if buying in the south. While the Florida housing market has largely begun to show signs of bouncing back, homes for first-time buyers and affordable housing took a severe hit from which it may be difficult to recover. According to the Miami Herald, mobile homes and other inexpensive housing, including first-floor apartment units, which are technically illegal in parts of southern Florida, were completely wiped out by Hurricane Irma and will likely not be rebuilt. The housing that is rebuilt “will take thousands of dollars or more to repair and, when they come back on the market, it will likely be at a higher rate,” the publication stated.