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Consumers gaining confidence. That’s good news for home sellers

Consumers are more confident today than they have been in five years. At least that’s according to research from Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan.

And what’s that mean for the typical Chicago homeowner? Only that more confident consumers could mean more potential buyers for their Chicago condominiums or single-family homes.

According to a recent story by Bloomberg, confidence among U.S. consumers reached a five-year high this November. This is important because, as the Bloomberg story says, more confident consumers are more likely to increase their spending. And that is more likely to provide a boost to the country’s overall economy.

This, of course, is something that home sellers should want.

According to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index, consumer confidence rose to 84.9. That’s the fourth straight increase and the largest since July of 2007. In October, the consumer sentiment index stood at 82.6.

What’s behind the rising confidence? The Bloomberg story cited employment gains, less expensive gasoline and, my favorite, rising home values. The hope is that the rising confidence will translate into more consumer purchases. As the Bloomberg story says, consumer purchases account for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

Confident consumers are especially important during this time of year. Many businesses, especially retailers, make the majority of their revenues during the holiday season. If consumers are feeling good in November and December, it could provide a nice end-of-the-year boost to businesses across the country.

Again, home sellers should be aware of trends such as these. A growing economy is one that is likely to produce a greater number of home buyers. And when there’s more buyers, it’s far easier for sellers to move their for-sale homes.

Let’s hope, then, that this rise in consumer confidence isn’t just a temporary trend. The stronger the housing industry’s recovery, the better off our country’s economy will be. And we need confident, positive consumers if we want to see a real boost in home sales.

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