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Housing Affordability Drives Purchase Sentiment Down in November

money-houseAs the cost of housing continues to rapidly rise, consumers can hardly keep up, especially as their income remains stagnant. However, despite the lowering consumer financial sentiment, economic conditions lift the housing market upward.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) fell 2.4 points from 83.2 points to 80.8 in November, as more Americans reported lower-income prospects. Year-over-year, the HPSI is down 0.2 percent.

"The challenge of housing affordability coupled with tight supply may be preventing overall housing sentiment from gaining momentum as income growth isn’t keeping pace with the cost of housing," Fannie Mae stated.

The HPSI remains close to the survey's high reached in June, which shows Fannie Mae's central theme of the year: "the economy drags housing upward."

Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae noted that, "While aggregate income growth has gradually picked up with a continually improving labor market, consumers’ assessment of their income over the past year has not yet shown sustained improvement, partially weighing on overall sentiment."

According to the data, those who believe it is a good time to sell decreased for the second consecutive month to 4 percent in November, down 6 percentage points. Meanwhile, the net share of respondents who say it's a good time to buy home rose 1 point on net to 35 percent.

Those who say home prices will increase was constant at 38 percent in November, while those who say mortgage rates will go down dropped 2 points to negative 48 percent, Fannie Mae says.

Job loss concerns are not super heavy on the minds of consumers, as the percentage of those worried about losing their employment mostly flat in November at 84 percent, the report showed. The net share of respondents who say they are not concerned with losing their job fell 2 percentage points to 69 percent.

Household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago among only 6 percent of respondents, down 5 points.

"This year’s housing market is poised to be the best since 2007; however, consumers’ ability and willingness to purchase a home is likely to remain an issue in many regions going forward until we see consumer confidence in their income growth consistently gain traction," Duncan said.

Click here to view the full report.

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