Morning Briefing: Home purchase sentiment weakens again

by Steve Randall08 Nov 2016
Home purchase sentiment weakens again
For the third straight month, home purchase sentiment has declined according to Fannie Mae’s index.

Among the elements of the index which declined was the percentage of consumers reporting significantly higher income over the past year; that metric fell 8 percentage points net.

“Recent erosion in sentiment likely reflects, in part, enhanced uncertainty facing consumers today,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate. Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013, weighing on the index,” added Duncan.

Partially reversing the decrease from last month, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a house rose by 2 percentage points to 31 per cent while the share who think it is a good time to buy remained at an all-time survey low.
New York real estate pros pressured by election
Real estate professionals in New York City are losing confidence in the market with sentiment at its lowest since the start of the election campaign.

“This election cycle has put pressure on brokers’ optimism despite the sustained health of the real estate market in New York City,” said John H. Banks, III, REBNY President. “Their uncertainty is being affected by ongoing economic and governmental issues that have impacted the pace of decision-making on a local and national scale.”

The Real Estate Board of New York’s Broker Confidence Index declined for both residential and commercial sectors both now and in the coming 6 months.

Some brokers are more optimistic, telling the survey that they expect a bounce in activity for residential and commercial real estate in the city following the election.
Builders say housing recovery is continuing
The pace of recovery for the US housing market is continuing with almost half of the 340 metro areas at, or better than, their past normal levels of economic and housing activity.

The National Association of Home Builders says that its leading index with First America, shows a year-over-year net gain of 73 markets.

“Ongoing job growth, low mortgage rates and rising incomes are contributing to a firming housing market and economy,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. “Though some areas are recovering faster than others, the overall trend is positive.”

House prices and employment gains are leading the way while issuance of single-family building permits lags.