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Housing Sentiment Continues to Strengthen, but affordability a concern

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI)rose 0.6 points in May to 92.3, reaching a new all-time survey high for the second consecutive month. However, consumer attitudes about buying and selling a home have continued to diverge as home prices have increased. While the net share of respondents who reported that now is a good time to sell a home increased to 46 percent in May, and is now up 14 percentage points year over year, the net share who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased to 28 percent, showing little improvement year over year. Meanwhile, the net share of consumers who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months remained unchanged at 49 percent, while the net share who expect mortgage rates to go down over the next 12 months fell 1 percentage point. In addition, more Americans reported improved job confidence in May and an increase in household income over the past 12 months. However, our National Housing Survey® results also showed that the share of consumers who expect their personal financial situation to improve within the next year fell 6 percentage points to 48 percent, and those who expect it to stay the same rose 6 percentage points to 40 percent.

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“The HPSI 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. 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 presenting a potential dilemma for repeat buyers,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “For the survey’s renter respondents, who are unable to reap benefits from selling a home, the HPSI has been essentially flat in the first quarter, during which home sales were also lackluster. According to our latest Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®, which we expect to release on Tuesday, lenders expect mortgage demand to soften in the near term.”

HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX – COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS

Fannie Mae’s 2018 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in May by 0.6 points to 92.3. The HPSI is up 6.1 points compared with the same time last year.

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  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased 1 percentage point to 28%.
  • The net share of those who say it is a good time to sell a home rose 1 percentage points to 46%, reaching a new survey high for the second straight month.
  • The net share of Americans who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months is unchanged from the prior month at 49%.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months decreased 1 percentage point to -49%.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job increased 2 percentage points to 78%, equaling the survey high.
  • The net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 3 percentage points to a new survey high of 21%.
READ:  Existing-Home Sales Decline Across the Country thanks to Fed's rate-raising

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About Carl Fox

Carl Fox is the money and finance editor for Conservative Daily News. Follow him in the "Money & The Economy" section at CDN and see his posts on the "Junior Economists" Facebook page.
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