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National Housing Survey

Homebuying Sentiment Hits New Survey Low

Citing Unaffordability, 86% of Consumers Say It’s a Bad Time to Buy a Home

June 7, 2024

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 2.5 points in May to 69.4 as the component measuring consumer attitudes toward homebuying conditions fell markedly, reaching an all-time survey low. This month, only 14% of consumers indicated that it’s a good time to buy a home, down from 20% last month, while the share believing it’s a good time to sell fell from 67% to 64%. Meanwhile, consumers continue to believe affordability will remain tight for the foreseeable future, as respondents believe that, on net, home prices and mortgage rates will go up over the next year. Among the positives from the survey: A growing share of respondents, now 20%, indicated that their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago. The full index is up 3.8 points year over year.

“Consumer sentiment toward housing declined from its recent plateau, as an increasing share of consumers struggle to find the positives in the current housing market,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “While many respondents expressed optimism at the beginning of the year that mortgage rates would decline, that simply hasn’t happened, and current sentiment reflects pent-up frustration with the overall lack of purchase affordability. This is most clearly evidenced by our ‘good time to buy’ component falling to a new survey low this month. On the other hand, homeowners’ perception of home-selling conditions declined only slightly and remains largely positive after a steady increase over the last few months. This suggests to us that, despite the so-called ‘lock-in effect,’ some homeowners may increasingly want or need to sell their homes for a myriad of non-financial reasons, which may lead to an increase in listings in the near future. As our latest forecast notes, we expect improvements to housing inventory will lead to slightly increased sales activity through the end 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.