Consumer confidence in real estate on the rise

real estate confidence risingAmid other signs of recovery lands a new Gallup poll showing 72% of Americans think now is the time to buy a house, and the sooner the better because many of them expect house prices to begin to rise again. This consumer confidence in home value was up from 53% two years ago.

Whether people are simply reading the news reports, or reading the tea leaves, their optimism could boost home sales, the Gallup news release states, "to the degree that potential home buyers agree" with the advice.

Around the country, stories of upticks in buying have been on the rise. In today's Sacramento Bee, real estate reporter Jim Wasserman begins his piece: "It's spring, and homebuyers are back across much of the Sacramento region." The central strip of California known as the Central Valley was particularly hard hit by plummeting values and plummeting sales. But a new report Thursday by MDA DataQuick indicates spring is not the only factor, with year-over-year home sale gains in much of the Sacramento region.

Recent DataQuick analyses in other parts of the country showed glimmers of hope in home buying, although some of that can be attributed to people scooping up deals. As DataQuick's Andrew LePage told The Sacramento Bee: "There are more sellers who have just given up on waiting for prices to come back...Prices are soft and enticing some buyers."

The Gallup poll found American's exuding some confidence that home prices may be stabilizing, with 77% predicting they will stay the same or rise. That sense of price stability was greater on the East and West coasts and fell to a low of 65% in the South.

Noting this regional unevenness, Jim Gillespie, the president and CEO of Coldwell Banker, tells WalletPop that, "While prices may be stabilizing in many parts of the country, it is important to remember that real estate is local. However, reports such as this give us all continued optimism because housing plays such a critical role in our nation's economy."

The Gallup release ends with a dose of economic reality, referring to another of the group's recent polls about employment:

"While an overhang of foreclosures and distress sales continues to depress some areas, the basic problem facing housing in 2010-2011 is the same as that challenging the overall economy: jobs. ...For most Americans, it is hard to feel financially secure enough to make such a commitment in an economy in which 20% of the U.S. workforce is underemployed."
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