Fannie Mae: Consumer Confidence in the Housing Market Fell in February

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Consumer confidence in the housing market fell 3.7 points in February to a score of 85.8 on Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI).

Results were down across most of the survey’s main indices. The net share of survey respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home decreased five percentage points to 22% – while the share who said it was a good time to sell a home fell two percentage points to 36%.

The net share who said home prices will go up decreased seven percentage points to 45% in February.

The net share who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months also fell seven percentage points – to 57%.

The share who said they are not concerned about losing their job fell two percentage points to 71%.

The share who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose one percentage point to 17%.

The share who said their household income was significantly lower than it was 12 months ago fell two percentage points to 9%, matching a survey low last seen in February 2017.

The decrease in February reverses the increase that came in January.

“Volatility in consumer housing sentiment continued into February, with the new tax law beginning to impact respondents’ take-home pay and the stock market creating negative headlines due to early-month turbulence,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, in a statement. “Additionally, consumers’ expectations for higher mortgage rates suggest that consumers expect the Fed to hike rates a few more times in 2018. We will continue to track how consumer housing attitudes trend in the coming months as these various market forces play out.”

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