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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Consumer Confidence in Housing Market Remains Near Historic Lows

April 7, 2023
Elevated Mortgage Rates Continue to Weigh on Existing Homeowners’ Sense of Homebuying Conditions

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 3.3 points in March to 61.3, but it remains only slightly above its all-time low set late last year. Overall, four of the HPSI’s six components increased month over month, most notably those associated with home-selling conditions and consumers’ sense of job security. While the former component remains slightly positive on net, in March 40% of consumers reported that it’s a bad time to sell a home, down from 44% last month, and 21% expressed concern about losing their job in the next 12 months, down from 24% last month. Year over year, the full index is down 11.9 points.

“Despite the recent banking turbulence, the HPSI increased modestly in March, although it still remains near its historical low,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “With the spring homebuying season now upon us, a large majority of consumers continue to believe that it’s a bad time to buy a home. Homeowners sharing this belief frequently cited ‘unfavorable mortgage rates’ as the primary reason for their pessimism, further corroborating the often-discussed disincentive – or ‘lock-in effect’ – that many mortgage holders who may be considering moving have toward giving up their lower rates. By contrast, surveyed renters once again indicated that high home prices are their primary concern for buying a home.”

Palim continued: “Unsurprisingly, consumers also expressed apprehension about the direction of home prices. In March, there was an even split among respondents who said home prices over the next 12 months will go up compared to those who expect them to go down. With affordability constraints, the lock-in effect, and home price direction uncertainty weighing heavily on consumers’ minds, we maintain our forecast that total home sales for the year will remain subdued.”

Downloads and Related Links
March 2023 News Release
March 2023 National Housing Survey Data Release  

National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators Archive
Click here for an archived list of Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators.