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National Housing Survey

HPSI Flat, But Consumers Slightly More Optimistic About Homebuying Conditions for First Time Since March

Increase in Optimism Driven Partly by Signs of Moderation in Home Price Expectations and Continued Low Mortgage Rates

September 7, 2021

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) was largely unchanged in August, decreasing 0.1 points to 75.7, as survey respondents tempered both their recent pessimism about homebuying conditions and their upward expectations of home price growth. Overall, three of the index’s six components increased month over month, while the other three decreased. Most notably, a greater share of consumers believes it’s a good time to buy a home – though that population remains firmly in the minority at only 32 percent – while the ongoing plurality of respondents who expect home prices to go up over the next 12 months declined to 40 percent, down from last month’s 46 percent but still well above the 24 percent of consumers who believe home prices will decline. Year over year, the full index is down 1.8 points.

“The HPSI remained relatively flat this month, suggesting to us that the continued strength of demand for housing and favorable home-selling conditions may be offsetting broader concerns about the Delta variant and inflation that have negatively impacted other consumer confidence indices,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Most consumers continue to report that it’s a good time to sell a home – but a bad time to buy – and they most frequently cite high home prices and a lack of supply as their primary rationale. However, the ‘good time to buy’ component, while still near a survey low, did tick up for the first time since March, perhaps owing in part to the favorable mortgage rate environment and growing expectations that home price growth will begin to moderate over the next twelve 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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Click here for an archived list of Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators.

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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