October 07, 2015HPSI Increases to 83.8 - Upward Grind Resumes, Bringing the Housing Indicator Back Near Its Peak Level
WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index™ (HPSI) increased to 83.8 in September as consumer confidence in the home buying and selling market bounced back from a recent dip, suggesting continued gradual improvement in housing activity. The HPSI Good Time to Sell component increased 13 points on net in September due likely to a strong home price environment coupled with a slight improvement in consumers’ economic outlook. Additionally, the Good Time to Buy component increased 3 points on net as high rental costs may be encouraging more renters to consider homeownership. Although net home price and mortgage rate expectations dipped in September, consumers' confidence in their employment and financial situations climbed 2 and 3 points, respectively, further suggesting a possible firmer footing for housing.
“The HPSI returned near its record high this month, driven primarily by improvement in attitudes about selling a home and strengthening home prices,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “With consumers’ expectations for rental price increases continuing to outpace their expectations for home price growth, many consumers may view homeownership as a more attractive option. This should have positive implications for the housing market, which remains well below historical norms in relation to housing starts. We noted last week that, despite a relatively dismal jobs report, the addition of 8,000 construction jobs, the biggest gain in four months, may be a sign of grudging progress for the supply side of housing. The September HPSI data, combined with the recent increase in construction jobs, are consistent with our expectation for a continued upward grind in housing.”
HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX – COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS
Fannie Mae’s September 2015 Home Purchase Sentiment Index™ (HPSI) increased 3 points to 83.8 in September following a two-month drop. Four of the six component questions posted net positive gains, most notably with Good Time to Sell increasing 13 points compared to August. Home Price and Mortgage Rate net expectations continued to fall, dipping 2 and 1 points, respectively. Overall, the HPSI is up 3.6 points since this time last year.
ABOUT FANNIE MAE’S HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX
The Home Purchase Sentiment Index™ (HPSI) distills information about consumers’ home purchase sentiment from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey™ (NHS) into a single number. The HPSI reflects current and forward-looking housing market outcomes and complements existing data sources to inform housing related analysis and decision making. The HPSI is constructed from answers to six NHS questions that solicit consumers’ evaluations of housing market conditions and address topics that are related to their home purchase decisions. The questions ask consumers whether they think that it is a good or bad time to buy or to sell a house, what direction they expect home prices and mortgage interest rates to move, how concerned they are about losing their jobs, and whether their incomes are higher than they were a year earlier.
ABOUT FANNIE MAE’S NATIONAL HOUSING SURVEY
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey™ polled 1,003 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts, six of which are used to construct the HPSI (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future. The September 2015 National Housing Survey was conducted between September 1, 2015 and September 25, 2015. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.
DETAILED HPSI & NHS FINDINGS
For detailed findings from the September 2015 Home Purchase Sentiment Index and National Housing Survey, as well as a brief HPSI overview and detailed white paper, technical notes on the NHS methodology, and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Consumer Attitude Measures page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies of NHS results.
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