More consumers are poised to hold off home-buying plans in April as a result of a less optimistic outlook of the economy. Only about 5.4% of consumers surveyed have plans to buy a home within the next six months, according to a monthly release by the Conference Board. This is the lowest point in eight months and also 90 basis points lower than the revised rate of 6.3% in March.
About 1.0% of respondents opt to buy a new home in the future compared to the 0.8% in March. The number of those who prefer pre-owned homes was steady at 3.1%. Undecided consumers—those who intend to buy a home in the future but don’t know what type—dropped to 1.3% in April from 2.5% a month earlier.
The consumer confidence index, the general gauge of consumers' market outlook, dipped to a score of 94.2 from a downwardly revised score of 96.1 in March. This is just marginally higher than the reading this February, the lowest point since December 2015. The decline in consumer confidence was mostly driven by the contraction in consumers' expectations of the future, which dropped nearly 6 points from 83.6 to 79.3, in spite of the increase in consumer-rated present situation from 114.9 to 116.4.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, suggesting no slowing in economic growth. However, their expectations regarding the short-term have moderated, suggesting they do not foresee any pickup in momentum,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, in a statement.
The monthly survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted by Nielsen for the Conference Board.
Read the full release on Conference Board here >>