Is it a good time to buy? Home buying sentiment dips

Potential homebuyers may be hesitating a bit now, although sentiment about selling remains strong.

Fannie Mae’s monthly national housing survey in July found the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 61% to 53%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy increased from 27% to 38%. As a result, the net share of those surveyed who say it is a good time to buy decreased 19 percentage points from June.

“Supply constraints appear to be applying upward pressure to consumers’ home price expectations, which in turn has contributed to both a sharp reversal in optimism about whether it is a good time to buy a home and further improvement in home-selling sentiment,” Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist Doug Duncan said.

The share of respondents surveyed in July who said it is a good time to sell a home increased from 41% to 45%, while the share of those who said it is a bad time to sell remained unchanged at 48%. That means the net share of those who say it’s a good time to sell rose 4 percentage points.

The survey found that more than any other respondent groups, renters, 18- to 34-year-olds and households earnings less than $100,000 said it is a bad time to buy a home.

The survey also asked about job concerns and household income.

The percentage of respondents who said they were not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months increased from 74% to 76%, and those who were concerned decreased from 26% to 23%.

Those who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell from 25% to 22%, while those who said their income is significantly lower was unchanged at 16%.

The survey was conducted by live telephone interviews in early July and included 1,000 respondents.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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