The optimism of homeowners
Zillow says it found a significant amount of "shadow inventory" waiting in the wings -- homes that people want to sell but haven't marketed yet. Almost one in three homeowners polled said "they would be at least 'somewhat likely' to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a real estate market turnaround," according to the poll.
Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president of data and analytics, had this to say in a press release:
While homeowners are now more realistic when looking backward, they are still pretty starry-eyed when looking forward with three out of four homeowners believing that their own homes' prices will increase or be flat over the next six months. Unfortunately, there are few markets we expect to perform this well. ...
With almost a third of homeowners poised to jump into the market at the first sign of stabilization, this could create a steady stream of new inventory adding to already record-high inventory levels, thus keeping downward pressure on home prices.
The Northeast, which includes Maryland in this poll, was the most optimistic. It was the only region with less than a quarter of polled homeowners expecting continued declines in value.
Zillow said its poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive last month, with about 2,100 adults participating. Wonks eager to know the margin of error will be disappointed: "This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated," the company says in its press release.