Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Consumer Sentiment on Housing: 2016 & 2017 Compared

Each month, the Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey tracks changes in consumer views regarding the housing market. With HOME being launched in the first quarter of 2016, we can now compare what consumers are thinking about trends in real estate in the last year.

Across the board, consumers felt that home prices increased in the last year and each quarter was better than the previous to sell a home. Specifically, in Q1 of 2016, 50 percent of consumers said that home prices had increased in the last 12 months. That figure jumped up to 60 percent of consumers in Q1 of 2017. About 45 percent of respondents in 2016 felt that home prices would continue to go up in the next six months. That number also increased to 51 percent of consumers in Q1 of 2017. In Q1 of 2016, 56 percent of consumers felt strongly that now is a good time to sell a home. That figure also jumped up to 69 percent of consumers in Q1 of 2017.


On a positive note, consumers’ view of the economy has also improved in the last year. In Q1 of 2016, just under half of all respondents felt that the economy was improving at 48 percent. In Q1 of 2017, that number jumps up to 62 percent of consumers that feel the economy is improving. This sentiment is most strongly felt by consumers 54 years and younger. The Northeast was the least likely to feel the economy is improving and was consumer sentiment consistent across rural, suburban, and urban areas. Home owners are the most optimistic on the outlook of the economy compared to renters and those that live with someone else.

While there was a dip in consumer sentiment on whether now is a good time to buy a home from Q1 (75 percent) to Q4 (70 percent) in 2016, consumers’ view that now is a good time to buy slightly rebounded to 72 percent in Q1 of 2017. The sentiment that now is a good time to buy increases with age and income. The West region was the least likely to feel that now is a good time to buy and the most likely to feel that now is a good time to sell. Renters were the least optimistic that now is a good time to buy.


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