Buyers Upbeat About Future Inventory

Dated: 10/11/2017

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Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index matched an all-time high in September, as consumers show optimism for buying and selling. The index now matches the record high that was set in June.

“The biggest driver for the increase in the [index] is the rebound in the ‘good time to buy’ sentiment, which outweighed the largest drag—a sizable reduction in the net share of consumers expecting home prices to rise over the next year,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Details in the survey showed a meaningful pickup in the ‘good time to buy’ component, especially from the renter respondents. Additionally, perceptions of easing inventory helped boost the net share saying that now is a good time to buy, which is consistent with less bullish home price appreciation sentiment during the month.”

Duncan still cautions that the “devastating impacts of the hurricanes will likely weigh on home sales in the coming months, posing downside risks for our forecast, which already calls for only a modest gain in home sales this year.”

Here’s a closer look at the findings from Fannie Mae’s September Home Purchase Sentiment Index, a monthly survey of about 1,000 Americans’ views on the housing market:

  • 28%: The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home, a 10 percentage-point month-over-month increase and a reverse of a decreasing trend from the prior two months.

  • 38%: The net percentage of those who say it’s a good time to sell, a 2 percentage-point increase and just 1 percentage point away from the survey high of 39 percent.

  • 40%: The net share of Americans who say that home prices will rise, a decrease of 8 percentage points.

  • 75%: The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job, a 1 percentage-point increase.

  • 15%: The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, a 1 percentage-point drop from August.

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