Fannie Mae Survey Shows Some Optimism Among Homebuyers

September 13, 2021

This blog post is based on an article written by Matt Carter for Inman. To read the full article, click here.

Americans who think it’s a good time to buy a home increased by 7% in August, which was its first increase since March, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. 

The tick upward comes after the metric, which measures the net share of those who think it’s a good time to buy a home, hit a historic low in July at negative 38%. August’s 7% increase in favorable homebuying consumer sentiment is a step in the right direction after many months of heated competition for homes, although the delta between the July and August numbers remains at a survey low of negative 31%.

Many factors, including high home prices and a lack of housing supply, contribute to consumer sentiment. Despite daily news of inflation and the highly contagious Delta variant, it’s believed this incline in the ‘good time to buy’ category is due to the continued low interest rate environment and expectations that soaring home prices will moderate over the next year.

Long & Foster Real Estate’s President Larry “Boomer” Foster said that inventory remains low in the Mid-Atlantic. Northern Virginia saw a brief uptick for several weeks in August, before buyers swept up the available homes.

“The good news is that interest rates remain near all-time lows,” said Foster. “Although median sale prices have increased by an average of 20% over the last year in our market, 30-year fixed rates are still under 3%. Even with this appreciation, consumers can buy homes with these low interest rates, since they buy payment, rather than price.”

About a third of respondents to the Fannie Mae survey believe interest rates will stay flat over the next 12 months. While only 6% of those surveyed believe rates will drop, 53% expect them to rise – a number that dropped from 57% in July. 

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