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Surveys

National Housing Survey

HPSI in Holding Pattern as Election Results Resolve and Pandemic Evolves

Consumers’ Housing Confidence Inches Upward but Tempered by Income and Employment Concerns

October 2020

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) ticked up 0.7 points in October to 81.7, rising for the third consecutive month. Three of the six HPSI components increased month over month, with consumers reporting a more optimistic view of both homebuying and home-selling conditions, in addition to expecting mortgage rate declines. However, consumers also reported greater pessimism regarding their personal finances and employment outlook. Year over year, the HPSI is down 7.1 points.

“In October, home purchase sentiment and personal finance sentiment diverged to produce only a slight increase in the HPSI,” said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Though there were improvements in the HPSI’s buying, selling, and mortgage interest rate outlook components, we saw similar declines in the job security and household income change components. To date, the HPSI has recovered over 60 percent of its COVID-19 pandemic loss, reflecting the bright spot that the mortgage market has been in the economy. However, the continuing evolution of the pandemic and the 2020 election outcomes may have longer lasting and unexpected impacts on consumer sentiment, as we saw following the 2016 elections, and we expect both factors will shape the housing market over the coming 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.

National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators Archive
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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