San Francisco Row Houses Photo: Donna Sutton/Flickr

According to a survey released earlier this week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) homebuyer confidence remains high in the US.

However, renters and younger potential homebuyers, those 34-years-old or younger, are exhibiting less confidence than older current homeowners.

The Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) is a monthly survey by NAR and research firm TechnoMetrica of 900 qualified households, where respondents answer questions related to perceived home prices in their communities, market temperament and mortgage questions. The results are published quarterly.

NAR found that 71 percent of those surveyed felt that now was a good time to buy a home — down from the second quarter and the second consecutive quarterly decrease seen this year.

Meantime, only 60 percent of those surveyed who are currently renting believed now was a good time to buy, compared to 78 percent of current homeowners who believed it was.

Geographically, Americans in the western region of the country were less confident that now was a good time to buy. NAR’s survey measured a 65 percent confidence-level in the west, while northeast, south and midwest all measured above 70 percent.

Concerns over getting a mortgage were reported by more than 66 percent of Americans aged 34 and younger, as well 78 percent of those earning $50,000 or less annually.

Of those surveyed earning more than $50,000 per year, about 75 percent felt it was a good time to buy, about 10 percent higher than those who reported an annual income of $50,000 or less.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed felt like it was a good time to sell their home. Confidence was reportedly higher in the western US, where 70 percent of respondents reported that it was a good time to sell compared to the 57 percent in the northeast, 61 percent in the south and 63 percent in the midwest.

More than half of those surveyed believed prices had increased within their communities in the last 12 months.

Regionally, 71 percent of respondents in the western US felt prices had increased, which was between 17 and 23 percent higher than elsewhere in the US.

And while 47 percent of all Americans surveyed felt prices would remain the same rather than increase in the next 6 months, half of those surveyed who were 34-years-old and younger believed they would increase, and more than 50 percent of respondents in the western US said they were also confident that prices would go up in the next 6 months.

“Given the stiff competition and limited homes available at the lower end of the market, it’s not surprising at all that those under the age of 34 and in the West are the least confident about it being a good time to buy,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a press release.

Fifty-two percent of respondents felt the economy was not improving, which was on par with the previous two quarters.

You can read the entire HOME survey report here.

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