National Housing Survey

Housing Confidence Dips Amid Robust Home Price Gains and Rising Rate Expectation

March 2017

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 3.8 percentage points in March to 84.5, following February’s survey high. Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were down. The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy fell 10 percentage points, while the net share reporting that now is a good time to sell increased 9 percentage points. Consumers also expressed reduced confidence about the stability of their jobs, with the net share of that component falling 8 percentage points. Additionally, on net, the share of respondents reporting that household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased 8 percentage points. The net share of Americans who say that mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months fell 5 percentage points to a new survey low. Finally, the net share of those who think home prices will go up decreased by 1 percentage point this month.

“Home purchase sentiment gave back some of the gains accumulated over the prior two months that sent the index to its survey high in February. Strong home price appreciation has turned into a double-edged sword for the housing market as it boosted the net share of consumers saying it’s a good time to sell to a record high, surpassing the plunging good time to buy indicator for the first time in the history of the survey,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “In addition, the net share of consumers who expect mortgage rates to rise over the next year exceeded that experienced during the 2013 taper tantrum. However, the housing market could get some tailwinds from a seasonal rise in for-sale inventory, particularly as some sellers seek to lock in profits from recent rapid home price gains. The market could also get a boost from homebuyers who decide to jump into the market before rates rise further.”

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.

March News Release
March 2017 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.