Increased consumer sentiment may help real estate market

The improving housing market may receive another boost, this time in the form of increased buyer confidence. As more people begin the view the U.S. economy in a favorable light, real estate may see a rise in home sales - which means good news for many agents, investors and other professionals.

The improving housing market may receive another boost, this time in the form of increased buyer confidence. As more people begin to view the U.S. economy in a favorable light, real estate may see a rise in home sales - which means good news for many agents, investors and other professionals.

A surprising uptick in August
The recent trend for the economy, and consumer sentiment in particular, was a negative one. However - despite expected decreases - the end of August saw an increase, according to data released by The Thomas Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. The survey is conducted nationally, and is designed to provide a broad representation of most household's opinions.

The good news is slightly hampered by a month-to-month decline in the reading, and August registered a final figure of 82.1, down from the 85.1 reported in July. What was surprising, though, were the improvements made during the end of the month.

In the middle of August, the reading was only 80.0, and many economists expected the final tally to register closer to 80.5, according to Fox Business. Instead, the number was slightly higher, meaning more people are gaining confidence in the U.S. economy as time progresses.

"Most of the late August gain was due to more favorable income expectations, with consumers expecting the largest income gains in nearly five years, although the median expected increase was just 0.9 percent, less than the expected rate of inflation," Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, said in a statement.

Overall, sentiment is up yearly, and the conditions surrounding the housing market are being viewed more favorably as of late. The survey noted that more people consider home prices as a positive for selling, while less so for buying.

For many real estate agents looking to gain an advantage in the housing segment, property data and mortgage records provided by Courthouse Retrieval System may be the needed information to help with any client demands.

Interest rates affecting spending
Mortgage rates are typically on the minds of most homebuyers, and potential changes by financial regulators may cause a shift in the numbers over the coming months.

Nearly every household reported by Surveys of Consumers responded by saying that higher interest rates were expected, according to Fox Business. The greater effect this change has on the housing market, the more potential growth may be limited.

With these figures on the minds of most buyers, every real estate agent should take steps to help clients identify the best properties and the ideal financial decisions. On a good note, the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey indicated that the average fixed mortgage rate slightly dipped for the last week in August, possibly encouraging news for consumer sentiment. The 30-year FRM averaged only 4.51 percent, down from the previous week, while the 15-year FRM also dropped to 3.54 percent, when it was previously 3.60 percent.

Ideally, lower rates could mean increased buyer confidence in the housing market. The best real estate agents have the most up-to-date information for clients, such as real estate records, and as sentiments hinge on several factors even minute details may affect a sale.



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