September 08, 2014Consumer Housing Sentiment Loses Momentum as Income Growth Remains Stagnant
WASHINGTON, DC – Americans’ attitudes toward the housing market continued to soften in August and suggest that housing activity may resume its modest recovery in 2015 after some pullback this year, according to results from Fannie Mae’s August 2014 National Housing Survey. Despite ongoing improvements in the labor market this year, consumers’ view on their income trend during the past 12 months appears to be more bearish. In addition, the share of consumers who said now is a good time to buy a home dipped for the second consecutive month, falling six percentage points since June to 64 percent – tying the all-time survey low.
"The August National Housing Survey results lend support to our forecast that 2015 will likely not be a breakout year for housing," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "The deterioration in consumer attitudes about the current home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home purchase affordability without enough momentum in consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it. To date, this year’s labor market strength has not translated into sufficient income gains to inspire confidence among consumers to purchase a home, even in the current favorable interest rate environment. Our third quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results, to be released later this month, are expected to show whether mortgage demand from the lender perspective is in line with consumer housing sentiment."
Homeownership and Renting
The Economy and Household Finances
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.
For detailed findings from the August 2014 survey, as well as a podcast providing an audio synopsis of the survey results and technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The August 2014 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between August 1, 2014 and August 24, 2014. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.