Realtor.com has released survey data that shows homeowners are gearing up to sell this spring and summer. According to the report, 64% of prospective 2022 sellers anticipate doing so within the next six months, and with high expectations for making a profit. Still, the potential uptick in newly-listed homes indicates some much-needed relief could be on the horizon for buyers – especially first-timers. Today’s sellers expect to ask for relatively affordable prices and include a higher share of millennials than last spring, suggesting that more Americans plan to upgrade from their starter homes.
The survey of 3,000 consumers, which was conducted online by HarrisX in February 2022, also asked about the experiences of recent sellers, who said determining the right time to list was the longest stage of the process.
” Although accelerating inflation is leading to higher housing costs and living expenses, many buyers remain interested in finding a home. At the same time, recent housing trends suggest demand is beginning to moderate as higher mortgage rates push monthly payments out of some buyers’ budgets, underscoring the long-term need for more affordable inventory,” according to the firm.
Homeowners ready to take advantage of the buying seasons
Survey data suggests some relief is on the horizon for Americans grappling with one of the worst housing shortages of all-time. Almost two-thirds (64%) of prospective 2022 sellers anticipate listing a home within the next six months. Whether these sellers follow through with their plans will be key to the forecasted 2022 inventory recovery and critical for buyers hoping to find a home before mortgage rates climb even further. In a positive sign that homeowners are serious about listing, many sellers are already getting their home ready. However, they’re doing so with great expectations of the current market, which means buyers should prepare for sellers asking for high offer prices, quick closes, waived contingencies and more.
- The majority of 2022 prospective sellers plan to list within the next six months, with 9% already listed and the remaining getting ready to list within the next 30 days (11%), 1-3 months (24%) or 4-6 months (20%).
- Compared to those who planned to list last Spring, this year’s prospective sellers have higher expectations of the hot housing market, including asking for more than their home is worth (42% vs. 29%) and refusing to pay for repairs or improvements (28% vs. 24%).
- When asked why they’re planning to list in 2022, surveyed sellers’ top reason was wanting to profit off the current market, tied with their home no longer meeting their families needs (each at 31%).
- Homeowners’ motivating factors behind moving also reflect the impact of pandemic trends, such as wanting different features after spending so much time at home (15%) and no longer needing to live near their office (14%).
Millennials are moving on up, signaling more starter homes for first-time buyers
With the oldest millennials already 40-years-old, these homeowners are playing an important role in adding to the supply of starter homes. Millennials represent nearly half (49%) of sellers who plan to list within the next six months and many anticipate selling at relatively affordable prices. This is welcome news for first-time buyers, who face fierce competition for limited available starter homes. Combined with rising affordability issues as home prices and mortgage rates climb, survey data offers some hope for first-time buyers, based on:
- More millennials plan to list within the next six months than in March 2021 (75% vs. 66%), and account for a higher share of all 2022 prospective sellers (42.0% vs. 26.0%).
- In a further sign that older millennials are moving on up from their starter homes, the share of surveyed millennials who have sold a home before was nearly as high as the overall rate (61% vs. 64%).
- Millennials have plenty of financial motivation to stick to their plans, with top reasons for selling reflecting the pressures of rising inflation and economic uncertainties. Compared to all survey respondents, higher shares of Gen Y sellers want a more affordable home (34% vs. 21%) and need the sale money ASAP (14% vs. 11%).
- In a potential sign of more starter homes coming onto the market, the majority of 2022 prospective sellers expect to list in relatively affordable price ranges: $350,000 or less (43%) and $351,000-$500,000 (22%).
Recent experiences highlight the importance of preparation, even in a seller’s market
The COVID housing market has largely favored sellers and many who recently sold were able to take advantage of bidding wars, fast closings, waived contingencies, inspections and appraisals, and more. At the same time, sellers’ experiences highlight the importance of preparation, especially as buyer demand is beginning to moderate. Even among recent sellers who found success, the majority took steps to get their home ready to list, such as making repairs, cleaning and decluttering. Additionally, although many sellers were able to list quickly, 41% said the process took longer than they originally anticipated.
- Over half (53%) of sellers spent less than a month preparing their home for listing, while another 26% said the process took 1-3 months.
- Forty-one percent of recent sellers said getting their home ready to list took longer than they expected. Determining the right time to enter the market took longer than any step of the home prep process, with 38% of respondents reporting that this decision took more than 3 months.
- Among steps successful sellers took to prepare their home for listing, top responses included repairs and updates (59%) and cleaning and decluttering (67%). While minor cosmetic updates were the top repair sellers made before listing, at 53% of respondents, nearly as many fully repainted interiors and replaced flooring (47% each).
- The majority (80%) of recent sellers sold at or above their asking price. Other top benefits of the competitive market included: buyers forgoing repair concessions (28%), offers within a week (27%), and waived contingencies like inspections (25%).
This Realtor.com® survey was conducted online within the United States from February 16-18, 2022 among 3,000 adults in the United States by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age by gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.