Home buyers’ sentiment slips but trend remains positive
The sentiment of home buyers dipped in August but the longer-term trend remains on an upward trajectory.
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index was down 1.5 points to 85 in August, easing from an all-time high in July. The index is up 4.2 points though from this time last year.
The net percentage of Americans who say now is a good time to buy a home increased to 34 per cent (up 1 percentage point) while those who think now is a good time to sell was down to 15 per cent (down 5 percentage points).
“Consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing at the end of the summer home-buying season, supported by increased job confidence and more favorable expectations regarding their personal financial situations compared with this time last year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The return to a slight upward trend in the HPSI during the spring and summer is, thus far, in line with our forecast, which calls for 4 percent growth in home sales in 2016 to the best level since 2006 and continued improvement for 2017.”
The figures also reveal that fewer people expect home prices to increase in the next 12 months with a 6 percentage point drop to 35 per cent.
Mortgage applications up slightly last week
There was a rise in mortgage applications last week compared to the week prior according to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. Its Market Composite Index was up 0.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis and was down 0.1 per cent on an unadjusted basis.
The refinance index was up 1 per cent on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis while the purchase index was up 1 per cent (adjusted) and was down 1 per cent (unadjusted) but was up 7 per cent year-over-year.
The share of refinance loans increased to 64 per cent (from 63.5 a week earlier.)
Estate named after a Belafonte song lists in upstate NY
A home once owned by singer and social activist Harry Belafonte is on the market in upstate New York.
The estate, named Day-O Farm after the lyric of the singer’s classic Banana Boat Song, comprises a colonial main house set in 100 acres in Columbia County.
The property was owned by Belafonte from the 1950’s for about four decades and the main home is accompanied by a guest house with its own sauna and pool.
The New York Post reports that the home is listed at $2.9 million.