WASHINGTON – Oct. 11, 2016 – Buyers and sellers are more cautious about the housing market: The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased 2.2 points to 82.8 in September, moving further off of survey highs. Consumer caution surfaced in September as four of six components decreased.
The largest decrease was in the net share of consumers who expect mortgage interest rates to go down over the next 12 months, which fell 6 percentage points. It was followed by a 5 percentage point drop in the net share of consumers who say it’s a good time to buy a home, and a 3 percentage point drop in the net share of consumers reporting confidence about not losing their job over the next year.
Household income was the only HPSI component to increase in September, with slightly more consumers saying their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.
“The decline in the HPSI over the past two months from the survey high in July of 86.5 adds a note of caution to our moderately positive housing outlook,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Downside changes came in particular from the HPSI components mortgage rate direction and good time to buy a house.”
Duncan adds a possible reason for the decline: “In addition, the starter home tight supply and rising home prices, as well as the unsettled political environment, are likely giving many consumers a reason to pause or question their home purchase sentiment.”
Home Purchase Sentiment Index highlights
Breaking from an increasing trend over the last few months, the net share of Americans who say it’s a good time to buy a house fell by 5 percentage points to 29%. It now matches a previous all-time low reached in May.
The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell a house remained at 15% in September.
The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up fell 1 percentage point from last month to 34%.
The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months fell 6 percentage points to negative 44%.
The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned with losing their job fell 3 percentage points to 70%.
The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 2 percentage points to 12%.
An interactive graph on Fannie Mae’s website allows visitors to explore each component individually along with their changes over time.
© 2016 Florida Realtors®
Source: Florida Realtors Feed