least part of what may have been driving the hot California housing market is
seller optimism. The results of the California
Association of Realtors'® (C.A.R.) 2013
California Home Sellers Survey shows sellers as much more upbeat about
repurchasing a home than they have been in a while, thanks to the surge in home
prices, record-low interest rates, and their own improving personal financial
said that 69 percent of home sellers responding to its survey purchased another
home after selling, up from 47 percent in 2012 and 12 percent in 2011. This may reflect their reasons for selling
which has shifted in only a year from the majority saying it was primarily
because of financial difficulties in 2012 to the top reason in 2013 being a
desire to trade up. Other answers given in
the recent survey were a desire to take advantage of low interest rates or to cash
out at what might be at least a temporary peak in home prices.
"Much-improved housing market conditions in
the last year have given sellers more confidence to own a home rather than to
rent one," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "With sellers being more
positive about the future of home prices, the vast majority of sellers who are
currently renting plan to buy again in the future. In fact, 70 percent of
sellers who are currently renting said they would purchase another home, up
from 22 percent in 2012."
The 2013 C.A.R. Home Seller survey
was conducted by telephone with 600 people statewide to measure their
perceptions of the home selling process. Eligible respondents all closed
escrow on their homes within the six months prior to August/September
The survey found that nearly half or
43 percent of respondents expect home prices to rise over the next year. That number jumps to 58 percent when the time
period is extended to five years. In the
previous survey 9 percent expected a short term increase while 12 percent thought
prices would rise over five years.
Nearly all of the sellers, 98
percent, said they had received multiple offers on their home, up from 83
percent a year earlier. The average number
of offers was 5.9 compared to 3.1 in 2012.
This competitive market also led to bidding wars and 45 percent of
sellers said they had received offers above their asking price and more than a
third said they had received three or more such offers. On average sellers received 2.2 offers above
their asking price.
Technology is important to sellers;
51 percent found their agent on-line and more than two-thirds of sellers said
Realtor.com was the most important website in their selling process. Seventy-four percent incorporated social
media into the selling process using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn or
Yelp to learn more about their agents or to communicate with them. One fourth of sellers used an agent with whom
they had previously worked while only 3 percent gave this answer in 2012.