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2 Out of 3 Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy

The share of renters (61%) who think it’s currently a good time to become a homeowner has hit a five-year high, according to Fannie Mae’s latest study.

WASHINGTON – The share of renters who say it’s a good time to purchase a home is at its highest level in five years, according to the latest reading from Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). Homeowners seem a bit more optimistic about selling, too, which could be a good sign for the market’s future.

Four of six components the index measures increased in June over May. But the index, which measures American sentiment about the housing market, is still down by 15 points over the last few months. In April, the index reached a record low as the COVID-19 pandemic ignited in the U.S.

“A second month of improvement in June allowed the HPSI to regain some of the sharp losses in optimism observed in March and April,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

The index suggests more favorable conditions for first-time homebuyers, which is consistent with a recent rebound in home purchase activity and applications, Duncan adds.

Homeowners sense opportunity as well.

“Homeowners seem to have taken note of the resulting lack of housing supply, with an increased share saying it’s a good time to sell a home,” Duncan says. “However, this activity may cool again in the coming months, depending on the extent to which it can be attributed to consumers having chosen to delay or to accelerate home buying plans due to the pandemic.”

In Fannie Mae’s survey of about 1,000 Americans, it also found elevated concerns about job security. “We believe the continuing uncertainty regarding the coronavirus’ containment suggests an uneven and potentially volatile course toward economic recovery,” Duncan says.

June survey results

  • Buyers: 61% of Americans surveyed said now is a good time to buy a home, up from 52% in May.
  • Sellers: 41% say it’s a good time to sell a home, rising from 32% in May.
  • Home prices: 34% expect home prices to go up over the next 12 months, up from 26% in May; 31% believe prices will stay the same, and 25% believe they’ll go down over the next year.
  • Jobs: 26% are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months; 74% feel secure.
  • Household income: 25% say household income is “significantly” higher than it was 12 months ago, up from 18% in May. But 16% say their household income is significantly lower, and 58% say it’s about the same.
  • Mortgage rates: 42% of consumers expect mortgage rates to stay near record lows – however, 32% expect rates to rise, up from 25% who believed they could rise in May, which could be creating some urgency among some buyers.

Source: Fannie Mae

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