Fewer U.S. homebuyers can afford homes listed for sale, and more Americans think now is a bad time to buy a home. Fannie Mae survey data reveals a 2.7 point decrease in December 2018.
The decrease continues the downward trend that was interrupted in November by a modest increase. Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said in a statement, "Consumer attitudes regarding whether it's a good time to buy a home worsened significantly in the last month, as well as from a year ago, to a survey low." Duncan attributes this to financial strain, CNBC reports. "Although home price growth slowed in 2018, the cumulative impact of sustained, robust increases in home prices outpacing income growth likely helped drive the share of consumers citing high home prices as a primary reason for a bad time to buy a home to a survey high."
Consumers are also less bullish on the direction of the economy. The share of those who said their household income was significantly higher than a year ago fell compared with November, although it was up slightly from a year ago. Consumers are, however, quite confident about employment. A full 79 percent said they were not concerned about losing their jobs in the next year, up 11 percentage points from a year ago.