Americans’ confidence that the economy is on the right track is at its lowest level since 2013, but growing negative consumer sentiment is not seen as an immediate threat to home sales. as buyer demand continues to exceed available listings.
That’s according to an analysis by economists Fannie Mae accompanying the release of the mortgage giant’s latest national housing survey. The Home Buyer’s Sentiment Index (HPSI), a composite index based on six questions from the National Housing Survey, rose by one point in October, to 75.5.
The monthly survey of 1,000 homeowners and renters found that 77% of Americans think it’s a good time to sell a home.
With rare announcements and prices in many markets at record highs, only 30% think it’s a good time to buy. Nonetheless, 69% of those surveyed said they would rather buy rather than rent if they were going to move.
But the share of consumers who said they think the economy is on the right track fell 7 percentage points to 25%. The share of those who think the economy is on the wrong track has risen by the same amount, to 65% – a new high for the pandemic.
“We believe the rise in negative economic sentiment is likely due to ongoing supply chain disruptions and inflation issues,” Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan said in a statement. “However, while economic uncertainty has the potential to dampen demand for longer-term mortgages, we believe current market conditions remain conducive to home buying as demand for homes continues to far outpace l ‘offer available for sale. “
Conducted between October 1 and October 23, the October 2021 National Housing Survey found that a growing majority of Americans (55%) now expect mortgage rates to rise in the next 12 month.
The Federal Reserve did not officially announce its intention to begin withdrawing support for mortgage rates until November 3, more than a week after Fannie Mae’s survey of homebuyer sentiment ended. But the Fed has been telegraphing its intentions for some time, and Americans clearly get the message, or worry about inflation in general.
The share of Americans who think mortgage rates will drop over the next 12 months fell to 5% in October. This brought the “net share” of those who expected rates to fall to minus 50 percent, a new low for the pandemic.
A record 77 percent of those polled in October said it was a good time to sell a home, and only 17 percent thought it was a bad time. The net share of those who said it was a good time to sell increased 5 percentage points from September, to 60%.
Only 28% of those surveyed thought October was a good home buy, compared to 30% in September. But the share who thought it was a bad time to buy also fell, from 66% in September to 65% in October. As a result, the net share of those who said it was a good time to buy increased by 3 percentage points.
If they were to move, 69% of those polled said they would rather buy a house than rent. That’s up from 67% in September, but down from this year’s high of 72% in May. The share of people who said they prefer to rent fell 2 percentage points from September to 26%.
One factor that could motivate the desire to become a homeowner is the belief that home prices will stay the same or continue to increase over the next 12 months. Only 22% of those polled see house prices drop over the next 12 months, up from 24% in September.
With 71% of those polled convinced that house prices will go up (39%) or stay the same (32%), the net share of those who think prices will rise increased by 4 percentage points from September to October, to reach 17 percent.
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