Real Estate News

Buyers still fearing high prices for 2017 home sales, says Fannie Mae survey

Published: 12 Apr 2017

A Fannie Mae survey hints that home buyers expect purchasing a home to be difficult in 2017. The National Housing Survey's March 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index levels show a sharp decline after previously seeing an uptick. It's especially notable because the February statistics weren't just a sudden spike, but also a five-year survey high, according to Fannie Mae itself.

Although the net share of those who predicted a more expensive housing market actually went down, there were also multiple sobering signs that the market was less optimistic about the future. The Index itself dropped by nearly 4 percentage points (3.8 exactly), and there was a 10 point drop among those U.S. residents who think it's currently a "good time to buy."

In addition to this, the Index also consists of five other components: concerns about jobs, income changes, expectations over home sales, predictions for the price of homes and expectations of mortgage rates.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan compared the March figures to those of the previous month in accounting for the dramatic change.

"Strong home price appreciation has turned into a double-edged sword for the housing market as it boosted the net share of consumers saying it's a good time to sell to a record high, surpassing the plunging good time to buy indicator for the first time in the history of the survey," Duncan said in an accompanying release.

The National Association of Realtors' most recent Confidence Index Survey said that 32 percent of sales in February 2017 were to first-time homebuyers. This same source also asserted that there was a "tight supply" situation during this month. In contrast to the Fannie Mae figures, this index signified that respondents were mostly optimistic about the market.