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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Consumer Perception of Homebuying Conditions Worsens as Affordability and Supply Issues Persist

June 7, 2021
Only 35 Percent of Consumers Believe It’s a Good Time to Buy a Home, Despite Improved Sense of Household Finances

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) remained relatively flat in May, increasing by 1.0 points to 80.0. Four of the HPSI’s six components increased month over month, most notably the components related to personal finance, as consumers reported a much greater sense of job security and improved household income compared to the same time last year. However, for the second consecutive month, consumers also reported a significantly more pessimistic view of homebuying conditions; on net, that component fell to an all-time survey low, with only 35% of respondents believing it’s a good time to buy a home, down from 53% in March. Year over year, the HPSI is up 12.5 points.

“The HPSI remained relatively flat in May, although some of its underlying components shifted significantly, with consumers feeling substantially more positive about their jobs and income, while at the same time showing even greater pessimism about homebuying conditions compared to last month,” said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The ‘good time to buy’ component fell further -- hitting another all-time survey low – as consumers appear to be acutely aware of higher home prices and the low supply of homes, the two reasons cited most frequently for that particular sentiment. However, despite the challenging buying conditions, consumers do appear more intent to purchase on their next move, a preference that may be supported by the expectation of continued low mortgage rates, as well as the elevated savings rate during the pandemic, which may have allowed many to afford a down payment.” 

Downloads and Related Links
May 2021 News Release
May 2021 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.