Poll: Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy and Sell

September 9, 2020

In a seller’s market, it’s not too surprising Americans have expressed optimism toward home selling. But Americans also say it’s a good time to be a buyer—in fact, more Americans are bullish over buying than selling.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which reflects the attitudes of more than 1,000 respondents toward housing, shows consumer sentiment over five of six housing indicators increased in August. Consumers are expressing more optimistic views than previously over buying and selling, and fewer concerns over job losses.

The buyer optimism stems from near-record low mortgage rates, which are helping to “restore much of consumers’ positivity on whether it is a good time to buy a home, while also improving the good-time-to-sell sentiment,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist. “The August survey was conducted as consumers continue to face uncertainty regarding schools’ and business’ reopening plans and as the CARES Act $600-per-week income supplement expired.”

While Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index rose by 3.3 points in August to a reading of 77.5, the index is still down 16.3 points compared to a year ago.

Here’s a closer look at findings on consumer sentiment from the latest survey:

  • Homebuying expectations: The percentage of respondents who said it’s a good time to buy a home increased from 53% to 59% in August.
  • Homeselling expectations: The percentage of respondents who said it’s a good time to sell a home rose from 45% to 48%.
  • Home prices: Fewer respondents believe home prices will rise over the next 12 months, the percentage decreasing in August from 35% to 33%. The percentage of respondents who said home prices will likely fall decreased to 26% while the share who think home prices will stay the same was unchanged at 34%.
  • Mortgage rates: More Americans believe mortgage rates will remain near record lows. The percentage of respondents who said mortgage rates will go down even more over the next year increased to 33%. Forty-five percent of respondents believe mortgage rates will stay the same.
  • Job concerns: Consumers are less concerned about losing their jobs over the next year. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months, up slightly from 76% the previous month.
  • Household income: Some Americans are feeling richer. The percentage of respondents who said their house income is significantly higher than it was a year ago rose to 25% in August. The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly lower stayed unchanged at 16%. Fifty-nine percent said their household income has stayed the same.
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