Money Matters Hold Back Housing Sentiment
The number of Americans who say it’s a good time to sell a house rose 5 percent in June, according to Fannie Mae’s monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index. That represents an all-time survey high. Combined with a 3 percent bump in the number of survey respondents who said it was a good time to buy a house, the results seem to show an increasing optimism about the real estate market. But though participants may see opportunity, concerns about their personal income and the direction of the overall economy may be holding them back. In fact, money worries led to a 2.1 percent drop in overall sentiment from the previous month’s highs. “The HPSI’s pullback in June from last month’s survey-high reading suggests a slight weakening in the 12-month outlook for housing activity,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, said. “Pending home sales have pulled back in the face of continued home price growth, and we’re seeing some softening in the higher priced components of the market. Growing pessimism about the overall direction of the economy gives us further pause as it now stands at the highest level we’ve seen in our National Housing Survey in the last two years.” According to Duncan, real improvement will require more affordable homes available for sale and a significant boost in Americans’ income growth perceptions. More here.