California home sellers more optimistic about market, with 43% expecting home prices to rise in one year, up from 9% in 2012; 58% believe home prices will rise in five years, up from 12% a year ago: California Assn. of Realtors

LOS ANGELES , January 16, 2014 (press release) – Home sellers excited about the market again; have confidence to repurchase, C.A.R. survey finds

Home sellers are more optimistic about repurchasing a home than in the past few years, thanks to strong growth in home prices, record-low interest rates, and better personal financial situations, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2013 California Home Sellers Survey.”

More than two-thirds (69 percent) of home sellers purchased a home after selling their previous residence, up from nearly half (47 percent) in 2012, and from only 12 percent in 2011.

“Much-improved housing market conditions in the last year have given sellers more confidence to own a home rather than to rent one,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “With sellers being more positive about the future of home prices, the vast majority of sellers who are currently renting plan to buy again in the future.”

Nearly half of sellers (43 percent) believe that home prices will rise in one year, compared to just 9 percent in 2012, and nearly three of five sellers (58 percent) believe home prices will increase in five years, up from 12 percent in 2012.

Additional findings from C.A.R.’s 2013 California Home Sellers Survey include:

• The reasons for selling changed significantly in just one year. In 2012, the majority of sellers sold primarily because of financial difficulties, but as home prices surged, a desire to trade up became the top reason for selling in 2013. Others wanted to take advantage of low interest rates to finance their next home, and some sellers believed the price of their home had peaked and wanted to cash out.

• Heightened market competition in the first half of 2013 led to an increase of multiple offers, nearly all home sellers (98 percent) said they received multiple offers, up from 83 percent in 2012. On average, each home sale received 5.9 offers in 2013 compared to 3.1 offers in 2012.

• Fierce market conditions also led to bidding wars, with nearly half (45 percent) of all sellers receiving offers higher than the asking price. In fact, more than one-third (37 percent) received three or more offers above asking price. Sellers, on average, received 2.2 offers above asking price.

• The Internet continued to be the most common resource for sellers to find an agent, with 51 percent of sellers finding their agent online. One-fourth of sellers used the agent with whom they had previously worked, up significantly from just 3 percent in 2012.

• Website listings were an integral part of the selling process, with more than two-thirds of sellers finding Realtor.com as the most important website in the selling process.

• Social media is playing a larger role in the home-selling process. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of sellers incorporated social media into the selling process, up from only one-fourth (24 percent) in 2010. Sellers used social media sites such as Facebook (83 percent); Twitter (52 percent); YouTube (39 percent); LinkedIn (24 percent); and Yelp (19 percent) to learn more about their agents or to communicate with them.

California Home Sellers Survey slides:

More sellers are repurchasing.
Sellers optimistic about home prices.
More sellers received multiple offers.
Reasons for selling.
Sellers’ most used websites.

The 2013 C.A.R. Home Seller survey was conducted by telephone to 600 people statewide to measure their perceptions of the home selling process. Eligible respondents all closed escrow on their homes within the six months prior to August/September 2013. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/seller/

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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