Consumer home purchase sentiment dips in October

by Francis Monfort09 Nov 2017
A measure of home purchase sentiment among consumers decreased modestly in October from September, reflecting diminished home buyer and seller sentiment, according to the Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) released by Fannie Mae.

The HPSI slipped 3.1 points to 85.2 in October, falling from the all-time high matched in September. On a year-over-year basis, the HPSI is up 3.5 points.

Fannie Mae attributed the monthly decline to decreases in four of the six HPSI components. The net shares of respondents who said now is a good time to sell a home fell by eight percentage points, while the share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy fell six percentage points.

Respondents also had a lower sense of job security in October compared to the previous month. The net share of Americans who said they are not concerned about losing their job fell five percentage points. The net share of consumers who reported that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell by one percentage point.

Meanwhile, the net share of Americans who believe mortgage rates will go down rose one percentage point. The net share of those who said home prices will go up remained unchanged during the month.

"The modest decrease in October's Home Purchase Sentiment Index is driven in large part by decreases in favorable views of the current home-buying and home-selling climates, a shift we expect at this time of year moving out of the summer home-buying season," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Indicators of broader economic and personal financial sentiment remain relatively steady. Overall, these results are consistent with our view that the housing market will continue its slow, upward grind through 2018."

Related stories:
Optimistic renters buoy overall housing sentiment
Sellers upbeat on home prices


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