ST. LOUIS, MO/March 27, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Spring is the air, temperatures are starting to warm up, and homeowners are getting to that time of year where they want to spruce up their homes and potentially test the waters on the real estate market. According to a Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) from First American Financial Corp., a provider of title insurance, settlement services, and risk solutions for real estate transactions, the housing market is gearing up for a really strong home buying season during spring 2017.
Despite rising home prices, low inventory, and the increasing chance of a rate hike, confidence for volume growth over the next 12 months increased 0.4% from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. Overall, the index increased 0.63% from last year at this time. RESI surveyed independent title agents and other real estate professionals, providing a gauge on the real estate market using the crowd-sourced information and expertise of real estate experts to come to the conclusion.
First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming stated, “Overall, year-end confidence in the health trajectory of the economy increased purchase transaction expectations, but the likelihood of higher mortgage rates further tempered refinance prospects.”
This increase is a likely result of the 6.5% quarterly increase in confidence in purchase transaction volume growth, which is up 3.7% from last year.
“The increase in overall transaction volume confidence this quarter suggests that title agents and real estate professionals feel the spring home buying season looks promising,” Fleming said. “However, the positive outlook for purchase transactions stands in contrast to a further decline in expectations for refinance transactions over the next 12 months.”
Despite this year’s steadily rising interest rates, they weren’t enough to bring down confidence in refinance volume – and it certainly hasn’t discouraged first time home-buyers from heading into the market this season.