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Americans agree: Time is right to sell, but not to buy

Home prices created widening gap on buyer vs. seller market

American agree that while now is a good time to sell, but not a good time to buy, according to the Home Purchase Sentiment Index from Fannie Mae.

The HPSI increased 1.2 points in August to 88 points in August. This is just below the all-time high set in June. The increase is due primarily to increases in two of the six index components: the good time to sell component and the mortgage rates expectations component.

The net share of those who reported now is a good time to sell increased eight percentage points to 36% in August, an increase of 21 percentage points from last year. During that same period, the share of those who said now is a good time to buy fell five percentage points from July and 16 percentage points from last year to 18%.

“In the early stages of the economic expansion, home selling sentiment trailed home buying sentiment by a significant margin,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “The reverse is true today.”

“The net good time to sell share is now double the net good time to buy share, with record high percentages of consumers citing home prices as the primary reason for both perceptions,” Duncan said. “Such a sizable gap between selling and buying sentiment, if it persists, could weigh on the housing market through the rest of the year.”

The survey’s respondents agreed the most important reason behind it being a bad time to buy and a good time to sell is home prices.

The net share of those who said mortgage rates will go down increased by four percentage points to -45%, as the share of Americans who said home prices will go up increased one percentage point to 48%.

Americans were also less confident in the job market as the net share of those who said they are not concerned about losing their job fell one percentage point to 74%. The share of those who reported a significantly higher income than 12 months ago remained unchanged in August at 16%.

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