The latest Fannie Mae survey of consumer homebuying sentiment shows that Americans are of opposite minds when it comes to buying and selling homes.
The mortgage buyer’s May Home Purchase Sentiment Index showed the share of respondents who think it’s a bad time to buy a home reaching a new high of 79 percent. It’s clear part of this is driven by fears about the economy and interest rate expectations: 70 percent of respondents said they expect mortgage rates will continue to rise over the next 12 months and the number of respondents worried about losing their job soon rose to 16 percent.
“Consumers’ expectations that their personal financial situations will worsen over the next year reached an all-time high in the May survey, and they expressed greater concern about job security,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist said in a statement. “Further, respondents’ pessimism regarding homebuying conditions carried forward into May, with the percentage of respondents reporting it’s a bad time to buy a home hitting a new survey high. The share reporting that it’s ‘easy to get a mortgage’ also decreased across almost all segments.”
Duncan expressed concern that aspiring home buyers will continue to be squeezed out of the housing market by these trends and by continued inflation.
At the same time, though, the share of respondents who think it’s a good time to sell rose to 76 percent. Over the next 12 months, 47 percent of respondents said they think home prices will continue to go up, an increase from 44 percent the month before.
The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained unchanged at 26 percent, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower increased from 14 percent to 16 percent.