So it should be no surprise that the real estate industry is bound to be at least somewhat affected by changes in the public’s emotional outlook. After all, when people start feeling good about the country and their own circumstances, they’ll be more likely to see the future in a positive light. More businesses will be started; more couples will decide it’s time to grow the family—and in Greenwich real estate terms, more homes will be bought and sold.
Last week, Greenwich real estate observers didn’t have to look hard to find a number of optimism-signaling items in the media. If local sentiment is in line with what was being reported nationally, it has to boost confidence in the commercial outlook for both Connecticut and Greenwich. For real estate matters in particular, optimism ruled.
The first wave arrived on Tuesday when Fannie Mae published its prognosis on “housing attitudes.” The quasi-governmental entity reported an abrupt turnaround in their Home Purchase Sentiment Index. This is the comprehensive sampling that measure various consumer sentiment on six components related to residential real estate. Most notable (actually, sort of astonishing!) was the component that measures consumers’ optimism regarding their own personal financial prospects and the economy. It registered the highest level in the history of the Index.
The percentage of those who say they feel now is a good time to sell a home rose, as did those who reported higher income in their own households. And the number of those who also believe home prices will rise in the coming year grew by 7%—which could explain why potential buyers might be increasingly eager to buy sooner rather than later.
The following day, RealtorMag® quoted a 1,000-consumer survey which confirmed that conclusion. It tracked those who “consider homeownership as a priority” and are considering buying a home in 2017. Undaunted by rising real estate prices, consumers are saying that they are more willing to sacrifice other priorities to save for a down payment. USA Today listed some of those “other priorities” as saving for emergencies or retirement—clearly signaling an increase in positive outlooks.
And then, just yesterday, the lead story in the real estate section of the Greenwich Times interviewed several realtors who concurred that the market is "on fire."
Some people grumble that roses have thorns; others are delighted that thorns have roses. When public sentiment begins to see more roses than thorns, Greenwich real estate is bound to be among the biggest beneficiaries.