Each month, University of Michigan researcher survey the U.S. population about their thoughts on the economy — is it improving, it is worsening, is it staying the same.
May’s consumer confidence survey registered it’s lowest reading since 1980.
Given the recent headlines, that shouldn’t be surprising:
But despite all of that, the American Consumer appears to be taking the economy’s hiccups in stride.
For example, last month, retailers around the country reported rising sales levels that doubled what economists expected. This isn’t supposed to happen when consumer confidence is falling as fast as it is, right?
But, a closer look at the retail sales data shows that discount retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart led the charge higher. So, although consumers are feeling worse about the economy, they’re still spending money.
And when they do, they look for value.
For home buyers, this should sound familiar because it’s every real estate agent’s mantra right now — “there’s a lot of good values to be had.” It’s why some homes are getting multiple offers within days while other languish on the market for months.
The difference lies in the perceived value of the home.
Home buyers are actively looking for “good buys” and when they find them, they’re quick to make an offer. It’s why the housing market is showing pockets of strength despite low consumer confidence levels overall — everyone’s snapping up the bargains.