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National Housing Survey

Housing Sentiment Edges Upward as Reported Conditions Favor Sellers

Lower-Income and Renter Groups Express Greater Optimism Across Nearly All HPSI Components

February 8, 2021

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased in January to 77.7, a 3.7 point improvement from December. Consumers reported a significantly more positive view of home-selling conditions month over month, with that particular component jumping 16 percentage points on net. The other five components remained relatively flat. Year over year, the HPSI is down 15.3 points.

“The HPSI experienced a modest uptick in January, reversing much of December’s decline,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Interestingly, lower-income and renter groups were more optimistic this past month across nearly all of the sentiment index’s components. We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend, which could indicate either that some demographics who have been more negatively impacted by the pandemic may be starting to feel the economic recovery or that this is a response to the additional stimulus enacted in December.”

“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgage rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale. Among owners and higher income groups, however, the other five components of the index remained relatively flat or slightly negative, suggesting to us that some consumers are waiting to gauge the effectiveness of any new fiscal policies and vaccination distribution programs on both housing and the larger economy.”

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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