Homebuyer confidence slips in August

by Ryan Smith08 Sep 2016
Prospective homebuyers lost some confidence in August, according to a new report by Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index dropped 1.5 points last month to 85.0, although it’s still above its level at the same time in 2015. Four of the six HPSI components fell in August – especially the share of customers who expect prices to rise in the next 12 months and the share who think it’s a good time to sell a home, which dropped 6 and 5 percentage points, respectively.

It’s not all bad news, however. Consumers’ employment outlook was up four percentage points in August, according to Fannie Mae. That and the fact that overall housing sentiment is still positive bodes well for the housing market in the long run.

“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.”

Other survey highlights included:
  • The percentage of customers who say it’s a good time to buy a house rose one percentage point to 34%
  • The percentage who say it’s a good time to sell dropped five percentage points to 15%
  • The share who think mortgage rates will go down over the next year fell two percentage points
  • The percentage of Americans who say they’re not worried about losing their job rose four percentage points to 73%.


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