Fewer consumers think it’s a good time to buy or sell homes

by Ryan Smith09 Sep 2014
Fewer consumers think it’s a good time to buy or sell a house, according to data released Monday by Fannie Mae. The percentage of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy tied its all-time low.

According to Fannie’s August 2014 National Housing Survey, the percentage of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a house hit 64%, matching the all-time low. Those who think it’s a good time to sell fell to 38%. While the percentage of consumers who think housing prices will go up in the next 12 months held steady at 42%, the percentage who think prices will fall increased to 9%.

“The August National Housing Survey results lend support to our forecast that 2015 will likely not be a breakout year for housing," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The deterioration in consumer attitudes about the current home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home purchase affordability without enough momentum in consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it. To date, this year’s labor market strength has not translated into sufficient income gains to inspire confidence among consumers to purchase a home, even in the current favorable interest rate environment.”

Duncan said that weakening buyer sentiment may be reflected in the mortgage market.

“Our third quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results, to be released later this month, are expected to show whether mortgage demand from the lender perspective is in line with consumer housing sentiment,” he said.

It’s not all bad news, however. The percentage of consumers who expect their personal finances to improve in the next 12 months increased to 44%. Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers who say the economy is on the wrong track fell to 56%, a drop of three percentage points.
 

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