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Consumer confidence in housing market falls to lowest level in over 10 years

Single-family homes under construction in the Overland community in Eagle Mountain are pictured on July 19. The pandemic-era housing market frenzy is over — and so is the hype.

Single-family homes under construction in the Overland community in Eagle Mountain are pictured on July 19. The pandemic-era housing market frenzy is over — and so is the hype. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The pandemic-era housing market frenzy is over — and so is the hype.

Consumer confidence in the U.S. housing market has spiraled to the lowest level in over a decade, according to Fannie Mae's monthly survey released Monday.

"Surveyed consumers continue to express pessimism about home buying conditions, with only 17% of respondents reporting it's a good time to buy a home," according to Fannie Mae's report. "Meanwhile, the percentage of consumers believing it's a good time to sell has begun ticking downward in recent months, falling from 76% in May to 67% in July."

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index dipped 2 points in July to 62.8, its lowest level since 2011 and well below its all-time high in 2019. Year over year, the full index is down 13 points.

The index also shows Americans' expectations that home prices will continue to grow has "fallen meaningfully over the past few months but remains positive on net."

The index has "declined steadily for much of the year, as higher mortgage rates continue to take a toll on housing affordability," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist. "Unfavorable mortgage rates have been increasingly cited by consumers as a top reason behind the growing perception that it's a bad time to buy, as well as sell, a home."

Plus, consumers are indicating what has been a seller-oriented market is "softening, as the 'Good time to sell' component has declined meaningfully over the past two months, and, on net, fewer consumers expect home prices to go up," Duncan said.

So how will consumer confidence impact the market into the future?

"With home price growth slowing, and projected to slow further, we believe consumer reaction to current housing conditions is likely to be increasingly mixed," Duncan said, noting some homeowners "may opt to list their homes sooner to take advantage of perceived high prices, while some potential homebuyers may choose to postpone their purchase decision believing that home prices may drop."

Overall, Duncan said, the July index reading appears to confirm Fannie Mae's forecast that home sales will moderate over the coming year.

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Katie McKellar

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