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Despite absent homes and increasing prices, Americans are confident in the housing market and their ability to buy or sell successfully, according to new research.

As of the fourth quarter of 2019, 74 percent of Americans felt optimistic regarding selling, the National Association of REALTORS® recently reported, while 63 percent were confident in home-buying. Thirty-three percent, notably, “strongly” believed “now is a good time to buy.”

According to the report, the Silent Generation held the highest sentiment, with 74 percent believing “now is a good time to buy,” closely followed by baby boomers, at 70 percent. Not surprisingly, 82 percent of those earning $100,000 or more felt similarly, along with 81 percent of residents in the West—where, by November, the existing-home median price rose 7.1 percent year-over-year, according to NAR stats.

When asked their feelings on home prices in 2019, 64 percent of Americans believe prices rose, 30 percent believe they “remained about the same” and 6 percent believe they declined, NAR’s research shows. When asked their outlook on prices, 48 percent believe they will increase in the next six months, while 41 percent believe they will remain unchanged.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, economic gains have lifted positive sentiment. In December, the economy generated 145,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported, capping off a decade of expansion, and earnings rose 2.9 percent in 2019. (While meager in retrospect, affordability has improved, additional NAR research reveals.) According to NAR’s newest research, 52 percent of Americans believe the economy is positively progressing.

“The mobility rate has been very low as many have opted to stay put for longer,” says Yun. “However, this latest boost—Americans saying now is a good time to move—is good news. With mortgage rates low, the timing is indeed ideal for those who want to enter into homeownership and for those looking to move on to their next home.”

At the start of the year, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate sank to 3.64 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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