Renters showed a substantial growth in optimism in September, saying now is a good time to buy a home, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index.
Renter’s shift to saying now is a significant change from August, when Americans agreed it was the right time to sell, but not to buy a home.
Overall, the index increased 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching the all-time high set in June. The increase is due to a rise in three of the six HPSI components.
The component which measures the share of those who saying it’s a good time to buy posted the highest monthly increase, rising 10 percentage points from August to 28%, reversing the past couple months of downward trends.
“The biggest driver for the increase in the HPSI is the rebound in the good time to buy sentiment, which outweighed the largest drag, a sizable reduction in the net share of consumers expecting home prices to rise over the next year,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “Details in the survey showed a meaningful pickup in the good time to buy component, especially from the renter respondents.”
“Additionally, perceptions of easing inventory helped boost the net share saying that now is a good time to buy, which is consistent with less bullish home price appreciation sentiment during the month,” Duncan said. “Overall, we believe that the devastating impacts of the hurricanes will likely weigh on home sales in coming months, posing downside risks for our forecast, which already calls for only a modest gain in home sales this year.”
And even some experts are beginning to say now is the time to buy. As summer fades into fall, Realtors in the Northwest area explained now is the perfect time to buy a home since housing inventory will begin to reach its peak levels in October, according to the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Americans continue to say now is also a good time to sell, with that component rising two percentage points from August and 23 percentage points from last year to 38%. This is just one percentage point away from the survey’s all-time high of 39%.
While consumers who say now is a bad time to buy, and those who say it is a good time to sell, continue to cite rising home prices as the reason, many Americans think the days of rapidly increasing home prices may have reached an end. The share of respondents who said they expect home prices to rise over the next 12 months fell eight percentage points to 40% in September.
Housing affordability improved in many markets the third quarter of 2017, but the national average remains at a decade-low, according to the Q3 2017 U.S. Home Affordability Index from ATTOM Data Solutions.
Americans indicated they once again expect mortgage rates to begin rising as the share of those who believe mortgage rates will go down decreased by two percentage points to -47%.
The share of consumers who reported they are not concerned about losing their job increased one percentage point to 75%, however the share show answered that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell by one percentage point to 15%.