National Housing Survey
Housing Sentiment Returns to Near-Survey Low Amid Affordability Constraints and Job Security Concerns
Both Homebuyers and Home-Sellers Express Caution About Current Market Conditions
March 7, 2023
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 3.6 points in February to 58.0, breaking a streak of three consecutive monthly increases and returning the index closer to its all-time survey low set in October 2022. Overall, four of the HPSI’s six components decreased month over month, most notably those associated with job security and home-selling conditions. While both components remain positive on net, in February 44% of consumers reported that it’s a bad time to sell a home, up from 39% last month, and 24% expressed concern about losing their job in the next 12 months, up from 18% last month. Year over year, the full index is down 17.3 points.
“The HPSI declined this month and is now just slightly above the survey low set late last year,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The decline was partly driven by a substantial decrease in consumers’ sense of home-selling conditions, with most respondents who indicated it’s a ‘bad time to sell’ citing unfavorable economic conditions and mortgage rates as the primary reasons for that belief. With home-selling sentiment now lower than it was pre-pandemic – and homebuying sentiment remaining near its all-time low – consumers on both sides of the transaction appear to be feeling cautious about the housing market. We believe these results corroborate our expectation for subdued home sales in the coming quarters, particularly now that mortgage rates have begun rising again. Additionally, this month’s survey indicated an increase in job security concerns, which we’ll continue to monitor closely, since labor market uncertainty could play yet another factor in slowing housing activity.”
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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