Seller Enthusiasm Drives Increase in Purchase Sentiment: Fannie

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By Jacob Passy

May 9, 2016

Consumer confidence in the housing market rebounded in April from an 18-month low the month prior, Fannie Mae reported Monday.

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index improved 3.5 points to 83.7 in April, a significant increase from March’s figure.

“We can partially attribute the sizable gain in April in home selling optimism both to a correction for last month’s unexpected dip and to typical seasonal strength in housing activity in the spring and summer,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, in a news release.

“Even after accounting for these factors, continued tight housing supply has led to renewed strength in home price appreciation, making selling a home a more attractive prospect this year in particular.”

Leading the headline figure was an increase in the “Good Time to Sell” component. Selling sentiment rose 16 percentage points to 15%, a survey record. Meanwhile, the share of consumers who said that now is a good time to buy dropped to an all-time survey low of 30%.

The share of respondents who told Fannie Mae that home prices would rise increased 3 percentage points to 37%, building on the increase reported a month earlier. But only 46% of respondents believe mortgage rates will go down, a decrease of 1 percentage point from March.

Regarding the jobs market and household income, the share of respondents who said they are not concerned with losing their job increased 6 percentage points to 74%. And 11% of respondents said their household income was significantly higher than last year, the same as a month ago.

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