Activity in the housing market might be on an indefinite pause for the near future, according to a pair of national surveys.
Clever Real Estate, an online platform, released a survey of 2,000 adults that found 39% of respondents stating they were not planning to buy a home for the foreseeable future and 33% insisting they were delaying their home search until their state’s stay-at-home edicts were lifted.
On the sellers’ side of the market, 52% of homeowners expressed concern over the value of their property as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 48% either declining to sell at this time or removing their home from being available for sale for the foreseeable future.
Separately, Fannie Mae announced that its monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index reached its lowest level since November 2011. The index, which polled 1,000 adults, found 46% of respondents saying it was a bad time to buy a home, up from 36% one month earlier, while 48% said it was good time to buy a home, down from 56% in the previous month.
Fannie Mae also found 29% of respondents believed it was a good time to sell a home, down from 52% in the previous month, while the percentage who said it’s a bad time to sell jumped from 36% to 65%.
“Individuals’ heightened uncertainty about job security, as registered in the survey over the last two months, is likely weighing on prospective homebuyers, who may be more wary of the substantial, long-term financial commitment of a mortgage,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
“On average, consumers expect home prices to fall 2% over the next 12 months, the lowest expected growth rate in survey history.”
Duncan added that despite consumer pessimism, “low mortgage rates remain a driver of purchase optimism. We expect that the much steeper decline in selling sentiment relative to buying sentiment will soften downward pressure on home prices.”