More Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy or Sell

Fannie Mae’s monthly survey found less pessimism over potential job losses and an increasing number of buyers (up 3%) and sellers (up 3%) who think it’s a good time enter the market. Overall, the index rose 3.3 points to 77.5, though a year ago it was 93.8.

WASHINGTON – With high buyer demand for homes, it’s not too surprising Americans expressed optimism about home selling. But even with frustration over the lack of listings, Americans also say it’s a good time to buy – in fact, more Americans are bullish over buying than selling.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which reflects the attitudes of more than 1,000 respondents toward housing, shows that consumer sentiment over five of six housing indicators increased in August. Consumers are more optimistic than previously over buying and selling, and fewer are worried about job losses.

The buyer optimism stems from near-record low mortgage rates, which are helping to “restore much of consumers’ positivity on whether it is a good time to buy a home, while also improving the good-time-to-sell sentiment,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “The August survey was conducted as consumers continue to face uncertainty regarding schools’ and business’ reopening plans, and as the CARES Act $600-per-week income supplement expired.”

However, Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index is still down year-to-year. It rose 3.3 points in August to a reading of 77.5, but it’s still down 16.3 points compared to August 2019.

Snapshot of August findings

  • Homebuying expectations: The percentage who said it’s a good time to buy increased from 53% to 59% in August.
  • Home selling expectations: The percentage who said it’s a good time to sell rose from 45% to 48%.
  • Home prices: Fewer respondents believe home prices will rise over the next 12 months, the percentage decreasing in August from 35% to 33%. The percentage who said home prices will likely fall decreased to 26%, while the share who think home prices will stay the same was unchanged at 34%.
  • Mortgage rates: The percentage who think mortgage rates will move even lower over the next year increased to 33%, while 45% believe mortgage rates will stay the same.
  • Job concerns: Job worries eased in August: 78% said they’re not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months, up slightly from 76% the previous month.
  • Household income: The percentage who said their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago rose to 25% in August. The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly lower was unchanged at 16%, while 59% said it stayed the same.

Source: Fannie Mae

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