Housing Sentiment Cools Slightly After Hot Summer

Fannie Mae’s newly announced Home Purchase Sentiment Index takes the results of their monthly National Housing Survey – which polls Americans about their attitudes toward the housing market and their personal finances – and distills them into a single number that can be used to track consumer attitudes toward buying and selling a home. According to the results, the index fell 0.5 points in August to 80.8. That’s down slightly from the all-time high reached in June but still up 5.3 points from one year earlier. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, said attitudes toward the current home selling climate have slid back a bit. “Expectations of rising mortgage rates and increasing concerns in the last six months about the direction of the economy seem to be weighing on consumers’ assessment of the housing market,” Duncan said. “Those who think it’s a good time to buy or sell a home have consistently pointed to favorable mortgage rates as the primary reason for their optimism. Those who think it’s a bad time to buy or sell a home have consistently pointed to unfavorable economic conditions as the primary reason for their pessimism.” Still, this month’s survey found the number of people who think it’s a good time to sell and those who think it’s a good time to buy both rose 2 percent from the month before. More here.

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