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National Housing Survey

Housing Sentiment Again Shows Signs of Plateauing

HPSI Flat in April as Consumers Continue to Adjust to Higher Rate Environment

May 7, 2024

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) was unchanged in April at 71.9 and is showing signs of once again plateauing as consumers continue to adjust to the higher interest rate and home price environment. This month, 67% of consumers indicated that it’s a good time to sell a home, while 20% said it’s a good time to buy a home. These two indicators are up 10 percentage points and 3 percentage points, respectively, since the end of 2023, despite mortgage rates having moved steadily upward. Additionally, the share of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go down over the next 12 months fell to 26%. The full index is up 5.1 points year over year.

“The HPSI, unchanged this month, may have hit another plateau as consumers maintain their ‘wait and see’ approach to the housing market,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Overall, housing sentiment increased from November through February, driven largely by consumer belief that mortgage rates would move lower. However, recent data showing stickier-than-expected inflation, rising mortgage rates, and continued home price appreciation, appear to have given consumers pause regarding the market’s direction. While only 20% of consumers think it’s a good time to buy a home, 67% think it’s a good time to sell one, a share that’s moved steadily upward since the start of the year. We think consumers’ generally improved sense of home-selling conditions bodes well for listings and housing activity, particularly for the segment of the population who may need to move for lifestyle reasons and have already begun adjusting their financial expectations to the current mortgage rate and price environment. However, for potential homebuyers in less of a rush to transact, ongoing affordability challenges may continue to keep many of them on the sidelines – one reason why we expect home sales to tick up only gradually over the course of the year.”

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, beliefs, 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, beliefs, 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, beliefs, 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.