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Gauging Home Purchase Sentiment

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Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) fell 2.7 points in October, and five of the six HPSI components fell from the prior month. 

The net share of those who say it is a good time to buy fell 7-percentage-points to 21%. Additionally, those believing it is a good time to sell fell to 41%. 

“Consumer home purchase sentiment remains robust, with the HPSI still near its survey high despite dipping for a second consecutive month,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist, Fannie Mae. “The ‘good time to buy’ component has declined notably, despite low mortgage rates, due in part to the persistent challenge of a lack of affordable housing supply. In turn, the net share of consumers expecting home prices to increase over the next 12 months has fallen to its lowest reading in seven years. Still, low mortgage rates and a strong labor market are supporting the index’s overall strength, which is consistent with our expectation for a modest expansion in home purchase activity in the fourth quarter.”

Year-over-year, the HPSE is up 3.1 points. 

The number of Americans who stated their income is higher than it was a year ago fell 5-percentage-points to 16%. 

Freddie Mac released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey Thursday and reported the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.69% after three-consecutive weeks of increases. The average rate last week was 3.78%. 

“After a year-long slide, mortgage rates hit a cycle low in September 2019 and have risen in six out of the last nine weeks due to modestly better economic data and trade-related optimism,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “The improvement in sentiment has been one of the main drivers behind the surge in equity prices and will provide a halo effect to consumer spending heading into the important holiday shopping season.”

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.13%, which is a marginal decline from the prior week’s 3.19%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.33% a year ago. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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