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Opinion

January 10. 2014 3:08PM

Redfin Survey

Homebuyers willing to pay more for less, real estate agents say


Donald, right, and Stacy McCray, pictured December 2013, plan to put their two story home in Orange Park Acres on the market sometime in January, joining what forecasters say will be an increase in the number of people selling their homes in 2014. (Sam Gangwer/Orange County Register/MCT)

Real estate agents, who deal directly with buyers and sellers, are in a position to know firsthand what's on the minds of both groups when it comes to home sales.

A new report from Redfin, the real estate brokerage, found buyers in the fourth quarter continued to be frustrated by the slim pickings among inventory, were willing to pay more than a seller's asking price, and were willing to settle for less when it comes to home features.

Redfin's national survey of 468 agents provides insight into a housing market that continues to experience tightening inventories, rising home prices and mortgage rates that continued to trend upward.

Most agents continued to think it's a good time to buy a home (56 percent versus 55 percent in the third quarter), even if 63 percent believe sellers have “unrealistic expectations” about the value of their properties.

Among other findings:

• Eighty-seven percent of agents said limited inventory was buyers' biggest challenge.

• Fewer agents think now is a good time to sell a home — 65 percent in the fourth quarter compared with 72 percent in the third quarter and 86 percent in the second quarter — even if the overwhelming majority still think the time is right.

• About 30 percent said buyers were “flexible on features” and were “prepared to waive contingencies” to win a bid.

Ennis Antoine, associate broker at Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers in Atlanta, said some buyers are settling for less house because they may face a time crunch in finding a place to live. Others aren't compromising on location, but may settle for a home that is smaller or a little dated.

Antoine said he's advising clients to be patient. “You have to understand there's not a lot of inventory, and when you find the home you want, you have to give your best offer initially because there's no haggling. You can't bargain down.”

The Redfin survey also found agents were concerned that rising interest rates would limit home sales, with 39 percent believing that if rates exceeded 5.5 percent sales and price growth would suffer. Other agents put the threshold at 6 percent.

Federal Reserve policymakers plan to do less in stimulating the economy by keeping interest rates low, which means mortgage rates, which have already been on the rise, will continue to trend upward.




Real Estate

State revenues show surplus for 2015

RICK HERRICK

Securing a home loan means documents

Ann Chiampa of Londonderry arrives with a bag full of new tools  at the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity Warehouse in Manchester on Wednesday. Chiampa donated the tools on behalf of the Londonderry Historical Society.

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Seven-figure listings booming thanks to views, land, waterfront

State revenues show surplus for 2015

Home & Garden

IN BLOOM: Fuller Gardens, located at the former estate of Alvan T. Fuller at 10 Willow Ave., North Hampton, will host its annual July Garden Party and Art Show from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 8. A Massachusetts governor, Fuller built a fortune as the first automobile dealer in the nation. He commissioned the gardens as a tribute to his wife, Viola, in the 1920s. Admission is $25; free for members. Music and hors d'oeuvre are on the menu, and artists will be painting in the garden. In addition to thousands of rose bushes, visitors can view English perennial borders, a Japanese Garden and a tropical conservatory. Visit fullergardens.org for more information.

Historic Fuller Gardens annual party upcoming in North Hampton

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Fuller Gardens, located at the former estate of Alvan T. Fuller at 10 Willow Ave., North Hampton, will host its annual July Garden Party and Art Show from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 8.

Outgoing Manchester Police Chief David Mara, right, sits next to two volunteers for the Police Athletic League, Gibran Ortiz Perez, center, and Victor Rodriguez, on Wednesday at the kickoff of the initiative to renovate the Michael Briggs Community Center building.

Manchester's PAL building eyes $1 million makeover

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The nonprofit organization Building on Hope announced Wednesday that it has targeted the 105-year-old Police Athletic League building in the center city for a $1 million makeover.

Mark Leven of the Bow Heritage Commission rings the bell at the Bow Bog Meeting House to call the community to gather Thursday night.

Bow Bog Meeting House returns to original role after restoration

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The Bow Bog Meeting House hosted a lecture on the history of meetinghouses to celebrate the end of a 5-year restoration project and a newly restored organ.

Mountain ranges form the backdrop for a vibrant palette of blooms in the spring in New Hampshire.

Lupine lovers celebrate colorful landscape throughout June

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Butterflies aren’t the only species attracted to the purples, pinks, blues and whites that carpet fields and pastures beneath Franconia, Presidential and Kinsman Mountain ranges at this time of...

Mount Sunapee expansion opponents join forces

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The New Hampshire Chapter of the Sierra Club will join with the Friends of Mount Sunapee in a news conference Thursday in presenting more than 1,000 comments from Sunapee-area residents in opposition...

Treasures in Your Attic: Familiar theme in Weller pieces

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My grandmother's home during World War II had a signed "Weller" piece. She kept it on a glass shelf among her prized possessions.

Study: Millennials big on gardening, green space

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A growing number of millennials who say that gardening and maintaining a nice yard are among their must-dos.

Treasures in Your Attic: Plaques kind of like Wedgwood, except...

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'Wedgewood-like' plaques are German jasperware

The first of four buildings at the Bedford Hills apartment complex is set to open this summer.

Bedford Hills apartment complex is opening in July

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Local entrepreneur Bill Greiner is expanding his portfolio of businesses in town with his brand-new Bedford Hills apartment complex, set to open its first of four buildings this summer.

Inmate-nurtured garden's bounty on display at annual sale

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The annual Correctional Industries four-day plant sale, north of the state prison on N. State St., offers a wide variety of flower, vegetable and herb varieties.