Fannie Mae survey suggests home sales will remain sluggish

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Fannie Mae’s national Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) declined 1.2 points in September, dropping to its lowest level since October of 2011.

While more consumers believe home prices will decline in the next year, they also expect mortgage rates to continue to climb. Thus, only 19 percent of respondents to the survey believe now is a good time to buy a house while 75 percent say it’s a bad time to buy.

“As long as supply is limited and affordability pressures continue to constrain potential homebuyers via elevated home prices and mortgage rates, we expect home sales will remain sluggish,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist, said in a news release.

The survey found that 59 percent of consumers believe it’s still a good time to sell a house, which was unchanged month over month. Those who said it’s a bad time to sell dropped to 33 percent from 35.

The HPSI is comprised from the responses to questions related to the following: whether it’s a good or bad time to buy or sell, if home prices will rise or fall, which direction mortgage rates are headed, concern over job security and whether incomes have risen in the past year.

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