After reaching a survey high in August, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index dropped by 2.3 points in September to 91.5.
The decline was attributed to downturns in three of the six index components: an eight-percentage point fall in the net "Confidence About Not Losing Job" component, a seven-percentage point slide in the net "Home Prices Will Go Up" component and a six-percentage point drop in the net share of Americans who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months. However, there were increased in the components for "Good Time to Buy" (three percent) and "Good Time to Sell" (four percent), while the component stating their household income is significantly higher than it was unchanged from the previous month.
"Consumer sentiment remains relatively strong overall, though uncertainty about the economy and individual financial circumstances appear to be weighing on housing market attitudes a bit more than a month ago," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist. "Views about the direction of the economy held relatively steady, and the share of respondents who say it's a good time to buy or sell a home rose slightly. However, consumers who are pessimistic about current housing market conditions are more likely to cite unfavorable economic conditions than the prior month. Job confidence remains high but still well shy of its July reading. Despite some added uncertainty, the September HPSI indicates continued strength in housing market attitudes and is consistent with recent data on housing activity."