Fannie Mae's October 2015 Housing Survey Data Flat While Wages Struggle

    - Katie Penote - Fannie Mae



11/9/2015 - Fannie Mae Housing Index Increases - Bringing Housing Indicator Back Near Its Peak Level

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index™ (HPSI) decreased slightly to 83.2 in October as consumers’ volatile outlook on both household income improvement and mortgage interest rates kept housing sentiment relatively flat. The HPSI Household Income component fell 4 points on net this month and the Good Time to Buy and Good Time to Sell components fell 2 and 6 points, respectively, after picking up in September. These dips suggest hesitancy by some consumers to make long-term financial commitments such as buying or selling a home. However, consumers appeared to be less worried about job loss, with the net figure nearing the most favorable reading in the five-year history of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey™ (NHS). In addition, the share of consumers who think mortgage interest rates will go down increased by 4 points on net in October.
“The income growth necessary for renewed momentum in housing market sentiment remains elusive, even though consumers’ confidence in their job security continues to strengthen,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers’ net view on whether their household income has improved over the last year is down once again this month. Some consumers may be hesitant or unwilling to commit to buying or selling a home without seeing meaningful improvement in their wages and salaries. Still, the HPSI remains close to its near all-time high level of the past four years and, given the strong October jobs report, suggests that any cooling in near-term activity, if it occurs, should be moderate.”
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