Consumer Sentiment Breaks Record—Again

June 11, 2018

For the second consecutive month, Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index reached an all-time survey high in May. But as home prices rise, consumer attitudes about buying and selling a home are diverging even more.

The net share of survey respondents who say now is a good to sell rose to 46 percent and is now up 14 percentage points year over year. Meanwhile, the net share who say now is a good time to buy fell to 28 percent and has shown little improvement over the past year, Fannie Mae notes. 

The Home Purchase Sentiment Index “edged up to another survey high in May, bolstered in part by a fresh record high in the net share of consumers who say it’s a good time to sell a home,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “However, the perception of high home prices that underlies this optimism cuts both ways, boosting not only the good-time-to-sell sentiment but also the view that it’s a bad time to buy, and presents a potential dilemma to repeat buyers.”

Fannie’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index is up 6.1 points compared to last year. In May, it posted a reading of 92.3.

Here’s a closer look at other results in the May survey (based on 1,000 respondents):

  • 49 percent: The net share of Americans who say home prices will rise in the next 12 months, unchanged from the month prior. 
  • 78 percent: The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job, rising 2 percentage points month over month to reach a new survey high.
  • 21 percent: The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, up 3 percentage points month over month to reach a new survey high.  
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