National Housing Survey

Housing Sentiment Dips Slightly on Interest Rate Concerns

September 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased slightly in September, falling 0.3 points to 87.7, reversing August’s increase. The dip can be attributed to decreases in three of the six components, including the mortgage rate and household income components. The net share of Americans who said it is a good time to buy a home rose by 5 percentage points, while the net share who said it is a good time to sell a home remained unchanged. However, the net share who expect mortgage rates to go down over the next 12 months fell 4 percentage points, and the net share of survey respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased 3 percentage points. Respondents also expressed a slightly more pessimistic view on job security, with the net share confident about not losing their job falling by 1 percentage point. Finally, the net share of respondents who said that home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased 1 percentage point.

“HPSI remains flat this month as perceptions of high home prices and expectations for rising mortgage rates continue to weigh on potential homebuyers,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “In September, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for the second consecutive month to 4.63 percent, its highest level since May 2011. In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee members’ interest rate projections at the September meeting continued to point to four additional rate increases between now and the end of 2019. Still, downside risk to housing is limited by broader economic strength, which helped boost perceptions of current home buying conditions. For consumers who say now is a good time to buy, the share citing overall economic conditions as a reason rose to a survey high.”

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.

Downloads and Related Links

News Release
September 2018 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.