The latest consumer sentiment index from Fannie Mae shows that home buyers don’t seem to be deterred by rising prices and rates, at least for now. The net share of survey respondents who said now is a good time to buy rose 10 percentage points in March month over month and is now at 32 percent, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, based on a poll of about 1,000 consumers.
Overall, the index rose 2.5 percent in March to a reading of 88.3. Two of the six components registered the largest increases last month: the share of consumers who said it’s a good time to buy and those who were optimistic about selling. The net share of consumers who reported it was a good time to sell a home rose 3 percentage points in March.
The index’s “recent run of volatility continued in March, as it recovered last month’s loss and remained within the five-point range of the past twelve months,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “The primary driver of this month’s increase was a sizable rise in the net share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home, which returned the indicator to its year-ago level. On the whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy.”