Key Highlights

  • Fannie Mae’s monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index down in July from 61% to 53% saying now is a good time to buy
  • Fannie Mae’s HPSI showed that 38% said now was not a good time to buy a house, up from 27% the month prior

Fewer people in July (53%) said that now was a good time to buy a home than those in June (61%). And more people in July (38%) said that now was not a good time to by a home than those in June (27%).

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What happened? A rise in COVID cases in July? Growing concerns about the economy shutting down again? Rising home prices?

Doug Duncan, chief economist with Fannie Mae, said, “Supply constraints appear to be applying upward pressure to consumers’ home price expectations, which in turn has contributed to both a sharp reversal in optimism about whether it is a good time to buy a home and further improvement in home-selling sentiment.”

Lower levels of optimism about buying a house did not, however, translate into lower levels of curiosity about the many aspects of housing. Google searches for the following housing related topics skyrocketed, according to Google Trends: 

  • “Refinance home loan calculator” – +4,000% last week
  • “Process of buying a house” – +950% last week
  • “How low will mortgage rates go?” – + 4X
  • “Minimum credit score to buy a house” also up last week
  • “Can you use your 401(k) to buy a house?” – +2,800% last week
  • “How to buy a foreclosure?” – a breakout search in past two months
  • “Buy a fixer-upper or move-in ready?” – a breakout search in past two months
  • “Suburbs aka Urban Flight” – hit all-time high in July worldwide with highest US search interest in suburbs of Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Houston in the past three months
    • San Francisco didn’t make this list as the outflow from the City is already showing massive drops in rental occupancies and rent prices.

While any kind of housing “recovery” is trending in some areas of the country where bidding wars are the norm and housing supply is historically low, such a recovery is highly dependent upon government aid relief specifically to the housing market and generally to the overall economy.

 

Thanks to CNBC.

Also read: What Are Homebuyers’ Top Concerns?, Two Straight Months of Surging Pending Home Sales, Podcast: What Does EXP Realty, Aliens and homicidal Monkeys Have In Common? | Tim and Julie Harris