Monday, April 8, 2019

Housing sentiment surges in March, and sellers are increasingly optimistic

· The net share of those who say it is a good time to buy increased 7 percentage points in March over February to 22%

· The share of those who say now is a good time to sell a home increased 13 percentage points to 43% in March, up 4 points from a year ago

More consumers think now is a good time to buy and sell a home. Lower mortgage rates are likely behind the positive surge in housing sentiment, which could help rev up the spring real estate season.

A monthly survey from Fannie Mae showed that, in March, positive sentiment jumped to the highest level since June, which was just below the record high.

 "The results further corroborate the positive effect of falling mortgage rates on affordability, which we expect will help support a rebound in home sales," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist. "Meanwhile, job confidence — little changed from last month's survey high — also continues to support housing sentiment, while income growth perceptions firmed from both prior month and year-ago levels, potentially supporting an uptick in housing demand."

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped over 5% at the start of November of last year, after moving slowly higher last summer. It then began falling in December but took a deep dive in the middle of March. It has moved slightly higher since then but is still below where it was at this time a year ago.

Data source: CNBC 4/8/2019

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