MortgageReal Estate

Fannie Mae: Consumers never felt so poorly about home buying

Homebuyer confidence falls to all-time low

Fewer consumers feel that now is a good time to buy than ever before, according to new survey results released Monday by Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions, showed that the net share of Americans who say that now is a good time to buy a house fell 3 percentage points to 30%, reaching an all-time survey low.

This month’s survey results come on the heels of the previous month’s survey, which showed consumers had less confidence in the housing market than they had for 18 months.

Overall, Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index actually rose from March’s 18-month low of 80.2, but only by 3.5 points to 83.7 for April.

Overall, the HPSI is up 1.4 points since this time last year, Fannie Mae said.

According to Fannie Mae, the increase was driven by the Good Time to Sell component, which actually climbed to nearly an all-time high in April, with the share of consumers who said that now is a good time to sell rose 16 percentage points to 15%.

Fannie Mae said that the gap between the consumers who believe that now is a good time to sell and now is a good time to buy is now the smallest that it’s ever been.

“We can partially attribute the sizable gain in April in home selling optimism both to a correction for last month’s unexpected dip and to typical seasonal strength in housing activity in the spring and summer,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“Even after accounting for these factors, continued tight housing supply has led to renewed strength in home price appreciation, making selling a home a more attractive prospect this year in particular,” Duncan added. “This improved sentiment could provide an extra boost of much-needed supply for the spring selling season.”

Additionally, Fannie Mae’s survey, which is conducted by polling 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence, also showed that the net share of respondents who said that home prices will go up rose 3 percentage point to 37%.

Fannie Mae’s survey also showed:

  • The net share of those who say mortgage interest rates will go down fell 1 percentage point to negative 46%
  • The net share of respondents who say they are not concerned with losing their job rose 6 percentage points to 74%, nearly making up the 7 percentage point decrease in March
  • The net share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained the same at 11%
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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