Homebuyer confidence increasing - but still low

by Ryan Smith10 Apr 2018

Americans were more confident about purchasing a home after expressing worry in February, according to new data.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HSPI) rose 2.5 points last month to 88.3, reversing the previous month’s dip. The share of respondents who said it was a good time to buy shot up 10 percentage points month over month, while the percentage who said it was a good time to sell rose three percentage points.

Americans seemed more confident about moderating prices as well. The share who said home prices will rise over the next 12 months dropped three percentage points in March, while the share of consumers who thought mortgage rates would go down over the next 12 months increased by five percentage points.

“The HPSI’s recent run of volatility continued in March, as it recovered last month’s loss and remained within the five-point range of the past 12 months,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “The primary driver of this month’s increase was the sizable rise in the net share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home, which returned the indicator to its year-ago level. on a whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy.”

The news isn’t all good, however; even with the 10-percentage-point spike, less than a third of Americans thought now was a good time to buy a home.

  • Survey highlights included:
  • The net share of Americans who said it was a good time to buy rose to 32%
  • The net share who said it was a good time to sell rose to 39%, matching a survey high last seen in June of 2017
  • The net share of Americans who believe home prices will rise fell to 42%
  • The net share who said they weren’t worried about losing their job held steady at 71%

 

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