Fannie Mae released its March 2018 report giving details about the climate for buying and selling homes in the U.S., which shows that respondents are more positive about buying and selling a home than in previous months.
Fannie Mae’s report includes details about the housing market and the perceptions of potential homebuyers or sellers in the United States. Information about perceived job stability, income levels, preference for renting or buying, and more is available in the full report from Fannie Mae.
Below are the highlights of the Home Purchase Sentiment Index, and what it reveals about buying and selling a home.
Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment helps gauge how respondents feel about the current housing market. As of March 2018, the index hit a 12-month high, with the exception of January 2018.
In March, the sentiment index rating was 88.3, a welcomed increase from March 2017’s rating of 84.5. In February of 2018, the rating was 85.8. If the upward trend continues, 2018’s sentiment index ratings could continue to grow stronger. For historical reference, 2017’s upward movement was seen from March to September.
Respondents in the March 2018 survey perceived that it was a better time to buy a home than previous months. 62% thought it was a good time to buy, versus 30% thought it was not, which is a net difference of 32%.
Homebuyer perception that it’s a good time to buy represents a 9-month high. In June 2017, the positive buyer perception was similarly listed as 62%. The net difference at that time, however, was only 30% in 2017, representing a lower overall buyer perception than 2018.
In the March 2018 survey, respondents were also asked about their perception as to whether it was a good time to sell a home.
66% of respondents thought it was a good time to sell, and only 27% thought it was a bad time to sell. The net difference was 39%. Both the positive and negative responses were at the high end of the range of results in any of the last 12 months.
Overall, respondents have stayed consistent in January, February, and March. However, the consistent 27% negative response is still lower than 2017’s average of 28.3% from March to December. Survey respondents believed the worst months to sell were April 2017 and October 2017, both at 31%.
Anticipated Mortgage Rate Trends in the Housing Market
According to the survey, fewer respondents anticipated higher mortgage rate in March of 2018 than in previous months. Additionally, March 2018 saw more respondents anticipating that mortgage rates would go down when compared to March 2017.
In March 2018, 57% of respondents felt that mortgage rates may go up, compared to the 62% in February 2018 and 64% in March 2017. Whereas March 2017 only saw 4% of respondents anticipating rates to move down, slightly more respondents (5%) held that opinion in March 2018.
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