Optimism Grows Among Sellers, Buyers

September 8, 2016

Consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing at the end of the summer home-buying season, says Doug Duncan, chief economist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The optimism is being buoyed by confidence in the job market and more favorable expectations regarding their personal finances compared to a year ago.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, overall, showed a slight upward trend during the spring and summer of this year. That falls 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,” Duncan says.

Fannie’s HPSI dropped 1.5 points in August but is up 4.2 points compared to a year ago. Four of the six HPSI components dropped last month, with the share of consumers who expect home prices to go up in the next 12 months and those who say now is a good time to sell seeing a 6 and 5 percentage point, respectively, decrease in August.

However, more consumers are reporting a positive employment outlook from the previous month, up 4 percentage points month-over-month in August.

For the third consecutive month, the share of Americans who say now is a good time to buy a home rose 1 percentage point to 34 percent in August. The share of Americans who say now is a good time to sell dropped 5 percentage points from an all-time survey high in July to 15 percent.

The share of Americans who say they are not concerned with losing their job increased 4 percentage points to 73 percent.

Source: Fannie Mae