Jul 252019

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By G. Steven Bray

Homebuyers remain cautious about the housing market according to the most recent Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. The overall index dipped slightly last month after peaking at a near survey high in May.

The index was buoyed by a rise in one component: the net percentage of respondents who thinks mortgage rates will fall. The remaining components were flat or fell slightly. Interestingly, even though more folks said they think rates will fall, they’re still outnumbered by those who think they’ll rise 4 to 1.

The good-time-to-buy component fell four points last month. However, positive sentiment outweighs negative more than 2 to 1, and a majority still thinks it’s a good time to buy a home.

The good-time-to-sell component was flat, and it remains strongly positive, most likely reflecting the strong price appreciation in most markets over the past few years.

Two measures that aren’t part of the overall index concern rental prices. Respondents still think rents will rise almost twice as fast as home prices, and a majority still believes rents will rise in the coming year. Only 2% think they’ll fall. So, renters still have a strong incentive to become homebuyers.

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