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National Housing Survey

Unaffordability Continues to Weigh Heavily on Consumer Perceptions of Housing Market

Elevated Mortgage Rates and Home Prices Are Dampening Consumer Opinion of Home Purchase Conditions

February 7, 2023

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased for the third consecutive month in January but still remains well below its pre-pandemic highs. Overall, the HPSI rose 0.6 points to 61.6, with three of the index’s six components increasing month over month, including those associated with home-selling conditions, home price outlook, and household income. Only 17% of respondents believe it’s a good time to buy, likely owing to the ongoing affordability challenges posed by elevated mortgage rates and home prices. Year over year, the full index is down 10.2 points.

“January’s HPSI results showed that consumer sentiment toward the housing market remains subdued by historical standards,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “For consumers, the same affordability issues are persisting, as they continue to indicate that high home prices and high mortgage rates make it a ‘bad time to buy’ a home. The latest survey data also indicated that the majority of consumers expect home prices to decrease or remain flat over the next year, which may incentivize some potential homebuyers to delay their purchase decision. Although ‘good time to sell’ sentiment ticked upward this month, it’s still much lower than it was a year ago, as purchase affordability remains seriously constrained and mortgage demand has receded. Until we see improvements in affordability via lower home prices and mortgage rates, we expect home sales to remain muted in the coming months.”

On the right rail of this webpage, you will find a news release with highlights from the HPSI and National Housing Survey 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 National Housing Survey methodology, the questionnaire used for the survey, and a comparative assessment of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and other consumer surveys.

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Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group or survey respondents 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 could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group or survey respondents as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

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