High Mortgage Rates Remain Primary Impediment to Housing Sentiment
WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 0.6 points in November to 57.3, its first increase in nine months, though it remains just above the all-time low set last month and significantly lower than its level at this time last year. Four of the index’s six components increased modestly month over month, including those associated with homebuying and home-selling conditions; however, both remain well below year-ago levels, having declined on net 28 and 38 points, respectively. Elevated mortgage rates continue to constrain affordability, and 62 percent of respondents expect mortgage rates to rise even further over the next year, compared to only 10 percent who expect rates to decline. Year over year, the full index is down 17.4 points.
“Both consumer homebuying and home-selling sentiment are significantly lower than they were last year, which, in our view, is unsurprising considering mortgage rates have more than doubled and home prices remain elevated,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Following eight months of consecutive declines, the HPSI did tick up slightly in November but is essentially unchanged since hitting its all-time low last month. Consumers continue to expect mortgage rates to rise but home prices to decline, a situation that we believe will contribute to a further slowing of home sales in the coming months, as both homebuyers and home-sellers have reason for apprehension. We expect mortgage demand to continue to be curtailed by affordability constraints, while homeowners with significantly lower-than-current mortgage rates may be discouraged from listing their property and potentially taking on a new, much higher mortgage rate.”
Home Purchase Sentiment Index – Component Highlights
Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in November by 0.6 points to 57.3. The HPSI is down 17.4 points compared to the same time last year. Read the full research report for additional information.
- Good/Bad Time to Buy: The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home remained unchanged at 16%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy decreased from 80% to 79%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy increased 1 percentage point month over month.
- Good/Bad Time to Sell: The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from 51% to 54%, while the percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell decreased from 42% to 39%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell increased 6 percentage points month over month.
- Home Price Expectations: The percentage of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months remained unchanged at 30%, while the percentage who say home prices will go down decreased from 37% to 34%. The share who think home prices will stay the same increased from 26% to 30%. As a result, the net share of those who say home prices will go up increased 3 percentage points month over month.
- Mortgage Rate Expectations: The percentage of respondents who say mortgage rates will go down in the next 12 months increased from 6% to 10%, while the percentage who expect mortgage rates to go up decreased from 65% to 62%. The share who think mortgage rates will stay the same remained unchanged at 24%. As a result, the net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased 7 percentage points month over month.
- Job Loss Concern: The percentage of respondents who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months decreased from 85% to 78%, while the percentage who say they are concerned increased from 15% to 21%. As a result, the net share of those who say they are not concerned about losing their job decreased 13 percentage points month over month.
- Household Income: The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased from 25% to 27%, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower increased from 15% to 17%. The percentage who say their household income is about the same decreased from 60% to 55%. As a result, the net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained unchanged month over month.
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 consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions 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 (NHS) polled approximately 1,000 respondents 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 with the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). 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 support the housing market. The November 2022 National Housing Survey was conducted between November 1, 2022 and November 19, 2022. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by ReconMR on behalf of PSB Insights and in coordination with Fannie Mae.
Detailed HPSI & NHS Findings
For detailed findings from the 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 Surveys page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth special topic studies, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies of NHS results.
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About the ESR Group
Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, led by Chief Economist Doug Duncan, studies current data, analyzes historical and emerging trends, and conducts surveys of consumer and mortgage lender groups to provide forecasts and analyses on the economy, housing, and mortgage markets. The ESR Group was recently awarded the prestigious 2022 Lawrence R. Klein Award for Blue Chip Forecast Accuracy based on the accuracy of its macroeconomic forecasts published over the 4-year period from 2018 to 2021.
About Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae advances equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality, affordable rental housing for millions of people across America. We enable the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and drive responsible innovation to make homebuying and renting easier, fairer, and more accessible. To learn more, visit:
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Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts and other views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae's business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views, including assumptions about the duration and magnitude of shutdowns and social distancing, could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts and other views published by the ESR group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.