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Homebuyers more confident about U.S. housing market

Posted on Monday, December 16, 2013 at 9:57:29 AM

Even as residential financing rates are trending upward, many homebuyers have a lot to be positive about. Those numbers are still near historic lows, property values are on the rise and the market has plenty to offer in the way of affordable deals.

For the first time in 2013, homebuyer confidence increased during November, according to Redfin's Real-Time Homebuyer Survey. Across 22 markets, respondents showed higher optimism about the segment as a whole.

However, they still highlighted a few problems, Redfin noted. For example, inventory is on the light side, prices are up and residential financing rates are constantly changing.

"With fewer people shopping for homes as the holidays approach, buyers that remain in the market are enjoying greater negotiating power and lower competition than they have seen all year," said Ellen Haberle, Redfin economist. "This confidence boost won't last long, however. Our survey this month revealed that many buyers hold wildly unrealistic mortgage rate expectations. As rates rise in 2014, many will face a tough adjustment."

The current confidence could be related to holiday buying trends. According to Zillow, the winter means greater affordability and a faster mortgage approval process. For some, buying a house could be easier this time of year than others, with less hassle and fewer competitive bids.