Fannie: Housing Confidence Hits Record High
Optimism for selling a home has helped propel a housing confidence index by Fannie Mae to an all-time high last month. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index rose 3.4 points in April to a record 91.7. Last month’s survey posted increases in five of six components that set out to measure Americans’ perceptions of the housing market. Consumers were also upbeat about home prices, job security, and their own personal finances.
“The latest HPSI reading edged up to a new survey high, showing that consumer attitudes remain resilient going into the spring/summer buying season,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “High home prices and good economic conditions helped push the share of Americans who think it’s a good time to sell to a fresh record high. However, the upward trend in the good-time-to-sell share seen since last spring has done little to release more for-sale inventory. The tightest supply in decades, combined with rising mortgage rates from historically low levels, will likely remain a hurdle for mobility and a persistent headwind for home sales.”
A separate survey released Monday by the polling firm Gallup showed that the majority of U.S. adults—64 percent—continue to believe home prices in their local area will increase over the next year, the highest percentage since before the housing market crisis and the Great Recession in the mid-2000s.
Home shoppers do appear to be getting frustrated. The only component of Fannie Mae’s index that saw a decrease last month was the number of consumers who said now is a good to buy, which dropped three percentage points compared to March.
Here’s a closer look at some of the findings from Fannie Mae’s April Home Purchase Sentiment Index, based on the responses of about 1,000 consumers:
- 29%: The net share of Americans who say it’s a good time to buy a home, a 3 percentage point drop from last month.
- 45%: The net share of those who say it’s a good time to sell, a 6 percentage point month-over-month increase and new survey high.
- 49%: The net share of Americans who say home prices will go up, a 7 percentage point month-over-month increase.
- 76%: The net share of consumers who say they are not concerned about losing their job, up 5 percentage points from March.
- 18%: The net share who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, up 1 percentage point from last month.
Source: Fannie Mae and “Americans Haven’t Been This Optimistic About House Prices Since Just Before the Crash,” MarketWatch (May 7, 2018)