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National Housing Survey

Housing Sentiment Rebounds, Returns to Likely Plateau

Consumers Slightly More Optimistic about Homebuying and Home-Selling Conditions, But Affordability Pessimism Persists

July 8, 2024

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 3.2 points in June to 72.6, rebounding from last month’s dip and returning the index nearer the plateau it set earlier this year. This month, 19% of consumers indicated that it’s a good time to buy a home, up from 14% in May, which represented a new survey low. The share believing it’s a good time to sell also increased, rising from 64% to 66%. Greater shares of consumers also indicated belief that home prices and mortgage rates would rise over the next 12 months. Among the household finance components, the percentage of consumers expressing a sense of job security jumped to 79%, an increase of 4 percentage points compared to May. The full index is up 6.6 points year over year.

“Affordability concerns remain the primary driver of consumer housing sentiment, even as the topline findings from our monthly survey showed a modest uptick in optimism on both homebuying and home-selling conditions,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “If mortgage rates decline through the end of the year, as we currently forecast, we do think home sales activity will pick up, but progress on that front is likely to be slow due to the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand. A significant majority of consumers continue to tell us that it’s a ‘bad time’ to buy a home, and they’re also telling us that they expect both home prices and mortgage rates to move higher over the next 12 months. Taken together, in our view, this leaves little upside to overall sentiment until meaningful progress is made on affordability – most likely in the form of either lower rates or improved supply. Of course, the flip side to a difficult purchase market is an advantageous sales market, and respondents also maintained their position that it’s a generally good time to sell, pointing to high home prices as the primary reason.”

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.