Homebuyer sentiment fell slightly in April, according to the latest Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI fell 1.5 points in April to 88.3, offsetting some of the prior month’s 5.5 point jump, and less feel that now is a good time to buy.
“Households remain upbeat about economic activity but have more mixed attitudes toward the housing market,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “While home selling confidence remains strong and more consumers on net expect mortgage rates to decline over the next year, respondents walked back some of their buying optimism from March. Improving perceptions of income gains and a softening home price growth outlook should help support housing demand. However, increasing expectations among consumers that mortgage rates will continue to be favorable for some time will likely gain additional support following last week’s Fed meeting – and may also be reducing their urgency to buy.”
The consumer outlook on whether now is a good time to sell has remained relatively unchanged, at 43%, but down 2% year over year. Additionally, the net share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased 5 percentage points to -40%. This component is up 8 percentage points from the same time last year.
Despite the predicted decline in mortgage rates, fewer potential buyers believe now is a good time to buy. The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home is 14%, an eight percentage point decrease from the previous month, and a 15% decline year over year.
Homeowners are also less concerned with losing their job, according to Fannie Mae. The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job decreased 6 percentage points to 74% in April, and 22% of homeowners say their net income is higher than it was a year ago, up two percentage points from last month’s index, and 4% higher year over year.