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Fannie: Americans pessimistic about homebuying

Americans believe it is a bad time to buy a house, according to Fannie Mae.

The net share of people who said it was a good time to buy fell to just 11 percent in December, the lowest percentage since Fannie began polling people’s attitudes about the market via telephone in 2010. The share of people who think it is a good time buy fell 12 percentage points over the month of November, and was down 13 percentage points in a year.

"Consumer attitudes regarding whether it's a good time to buy a home worsened significantly in the last month, as well as from a year ago, to a survey low," said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Although home price growth slowed in 2018, the cumulative impact of sustained, robust increases in home prices outpacing income growth likely helped drive the share of consumers citing high home prices as a primary reason for a bad time to buy a home to a survey high,” Duncan said.

Fannie reported that the net share of people who believe it is a good time to sell increased one percentage point over the November level to 36 percent. That was up two percentage points over the year.

“Consumers' views on the direction of the economy, a key support for housing market sentiment of late, has softened somewhat from its October high,” Duncan added. “Looking ahead, consumers expect the pace of home price growth to slow over the course of 2019, which may temper growing concern over housing affordability."

Fannie surveys roughly 1,000 homeowners and renters each month.


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