Consumer Attitude Measures

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Consumer Attitude Measures

Home Purchase Sentiment Index Retreats Slightly, but Gradual Upward Trend Continues

HPSI Points to Continued, Moderate Strengthening of Housing

August 2016


The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) fell 1.5 points to 85.0 in August but continued its gradual climb upward from the same period last year. Four of the six HPSI components decreased during the month, most notably the share of consumers who expect home prices to go up in the next 12 months and the share who say now is a good time to sell a home – decreasing 6 and 5 percentage points in August, respectively. Additionally, more consumers reported a positive employment outlook from the previous month, up 4 percentage points in August, and those reporting significantly higher household income fell 1 percentage point. Overall, consumer housing sentiment remains positive and bodes well for continued growth in housing activity.

“Consumers have a fairly optimistic 12-month outlook on housing at the end of the summer home-buying season, supported by increased job confidence and more favorable expectations regarding their personal financial situations compared with this time last year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The return to a slight upward trend in the HPSI during the spring and summer is, thus far, in line with our forecast, which calls for 4 percent growth in home sales in 2016 to the best level since 2006 and continued improvement for 2017.”

1st Anniversary Edition – Home Purchase Sentiment Index
The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) was first released publicly in September 2015. On its first anniversary, we take a look back at the movements of the HPSI over the five years we have calculated it based on data from the National Housing Survey®. The HPSI trended strongly upward from March 2011 until mid-2013. Home sales also strengthened sizably in 2012 and 2013. As the HPSI dipped lower in response to the “Taper Tantrum” in mid-2013, home sales fell in 2014 for the first time in four years. The HPSI fully recovered its pre-tantrum levels by the fall of 2014 and has since been on its gradual upward trend, reaching a record high in July 2016 before pulling back slightly in August. Its recent trend signals that home sales will likely advance through next year.

On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the HPSI and NHS results, the latest Data Release highlighting the consumer attitudinal indicators, month-over-month key indicator data, an overview and white paper about the HPSI, technical notes providing in-depth information about the NHS methodology, the questionnaire used for the survey, and a comparative assessment of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and other consumer surveys.

August News Release
August 2016 National Housing Survey Data Release (PDF)

National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators Archive
Click here for an archived list of Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators.