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Has Homebuyer Demand Plateaued?

homebuyerAmerican homebuyers were feeling a little less positive about buying a home, but homeowners were a little more positive about selling one in June, according to Fannie Mae. The agency's June Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) dropped 1.6 points from May. That brings the index total to 90.7.

However, June's numbers are down compared to April and May's HPSI totals, which were the highest on record. The index is up 2.4 percent from a year ago.

Overall, the index has been on a fairly steady climb since 2011, a few drops aside. And despite the dropoff from May, June's numbers seemed generally cheerful. Also, the net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home actually remained unchanged in June, and the net share who said that now is a good time to sell increased 1 percent.

Compared to two years ago, sentiment towards selling is dramatically higher. In June of 2016, the share of respondents bullish on it being the best time to sell was 18 percent. Last month it was 47 percent. Meanwhile, the share who said it's a good time to sell has been largely level, right around a steady 30 percent, these past two years.

These numbers suggest to Fannie Mae's SVP and chief economist Doug Duncan that the index might have reached its plateau point.  

“Tight supply and lackluster income growth continue to weigh on housing activity, and consumer expectations for home price growth over the next 12 months have moderated,” Duncan said. “However, consumers expressed increased optimism about the direction of the economy and their personal financial situations over the next 12 months, with both measures matching previous survey highs this month.”

Americans were also less worried about losing their jobs. The net share of those worried dropped 2 percent (to 76 percent), while those saying they made a lot less money than a year ago also dropped 2 percent (to 19 percent).

Four percent fewer people said they believe mortgage rates will go down over the next year, and 3 percent fewer said they think housing prices will keep climbing through next year.

Learn More About How the Home Purchase Sentiment Index performed in May:

Homebuyer Confidence Wanes

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.

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