Last month it looked as if Americans’ attitude towards the housing market continued to soften, indicating that the housing market will continue to recover slowly into next year, according to an article in RisMedia. The article looked at the results of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for August, and found that even though the jobs market has improved this year, consumers are still concerned about their income.
The numbers of people who feel it’s a good time to buy a home has now dropped for the second consecutive month to 64% which is 6% less than in June. This has led to Fannie Mae predicting that next year may not be a breakout year for the housing industry. This is due to concerns about the current home buying environment and a decline in home purchase affordability. At the moment gains in the jobs market this year haven’t yet translated into sufficient increases in income to generate increased consumer confidence in buying a home, even though interest rates are still low. It’s anticipated the Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey for the third quarter of the year, and which is due to be released later on in September will show whether consumer housing sentiment corresponds to mortgage demand.
The number of people who think prices will go up during the next year remained steady at 42%, but the numbers who think prices may go down increased to 9%. However the number of respondents who think interest rates will go up during the next year dropped by four percentage points to 50%. Just 64% of respondents thought it was a good time to buy a property, equaling the all-time low, and at the same time those who think it’s a good time to sell also fell to 38%. The percentage of respondents who thought it would be easier to get a mortgage increased by just 1%. The percentage of people who said they would buy if they were going to move home dropped to 64%, while those who thought they would rent increased to 32%. This is the narrowest gap between these two percentages for more than a year.
Some 44% of respondents expect their personal finances to improve over the next 12 months, but those who think their household income is higher than it was a year ago dropped to 23%, a full of 5%. The percentage of respondents who feel that household expenses have increased over the last 12 months remained steady at 36%.