NAR’s survey found 60 percent of renters believed now is a good time for home buying, down from 62 percent in the third quarter and down from 57 percent one year ago. Fewer respondents were confident about their financial situation: 59.1 percent predicted their fiscal health will be better in six months, down from 62 percent in the previous quarter and 59.8 percent one year earlier. Fifty-two percent households in the fourth quarter believed the economy is improving, compared to 57 percent in the third quarter and 54 percent one year ago.
“The trifecta of faster economic expansion, robust hiring and low mortgage rates should be generating a surge in optimism and home sales as 2017 winds down,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Sadly, this is not the case. While overall demand remains high, it is not translating to meaningful sales gains. Too many prospective first-time buyers see few options within their budget and home prices that are rising much faster than their incomes. Until we start seeing a steady increase in new and existing inventory, sales will fail to deliver on their full potential and many would-be first-time buyers will be forced to continue renting.”