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Redfin: Sellers Gaining Confidence as Market Shifts

Home sellers are already showing optimism for the 2013 selling season, according to a survey from ""Redfin"":http://www.redfin.com/home.

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The company's Real-Time Seller Survey for Q4 showed increased confidence about the housing market's future, with 83 percent of sellers saying they believe they would get a higher price for their home by waiting one to two years. That number is up from 80 percent in the previous survey.

Nearly three-quarters--74.6 percent--of sellers believe prices will rise in their neighborhood over the next 12 months, a slight increase from last quarter. Meanwhile, the number of those who expect prices will stay the same or drop backed off a percentage point in each category.

In addition, 15 percent believe it is a good time to sell (up from 13 in the last quarter), and 58 percent believe it is a good time to buy (down from 61 percent before). According to Redfin, ""[t]aken together, these indicate that sellers sense a slight market shift in their favor.""

The majority of sellers intend to list their homes sometime in the next months--an expected result, as that period includes the heavier spring selling season. Surprising, [COLUMN_BREAK]

though, was the fact that the number of sellers whose homes are currently listed increased six percentage points from the last survey to 31 percent. The fourth quarter is typically the slowest season for new listings, according to Redfin.

Another indicator of increased confidence among sellers is the fact that selling has gained popularity against renting. The number of respondents who are considering renting out their home was 43 percent in the most recent survey, down from 46 percent in the last quarter.

""The changes were slight, but they all pointed in the same direction: Sellers are becoming a little more confident about their chances on the market, a little less interested in alternatives to selling (such as renting out the home), and a little less concerned about the economy,"" Redfin analyst Tim Ellis said in a ""blog post"":http://blog.redfin.com/blog/2012/11/more_confidence_less_fear_among_home_sellers_potential_for_increased_inventory_in_2013.html.

If these trends continue, Ellis added, 2013 will likely begin to see ""an easing of the big inventory squeeze that has made headlines throughout 2012"" as sellers are drawn back to the market.

That's definitely good news, says Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, as the housing market hasn't been able to get very far this year without a strong seller presence.

""At this point in the housing market, the only opinion that matters is that of the would-be sellers trying to decide whether to put their home on the market,"" Kelman said. ""Economists agree that the market hit bottom some time earlier this year and low interest rates have brought out more buyers than we've seen in years, but most sellers decided to wait for better prices.

""These attitudes aren't changing dramatically from one quarter to the next, but the direction has been remarkably consistent among both buyers and sellers: the market is slowly tilting in sellers' favor.""

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