Consumer Pessimism Regarding Direction of Mortgage Rates Hits New Survey High
The Fannie Mae (Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased by 2.1 points to 73.2 in March, as consumers continue to express pessimism regarding the trajectory of mortgage rates and homebuying conditions generally. Overall, four of the index’s six components decreased month over month, including the components asking consumers whether they expect mortgage rates to go up and whether they believe it’s a good time to buy a home. In March, a survey-high 69% of respondents indicated that they expect mortgage rates to continue their upward ascent. On net, the “Good Time to Buy” component set a new survey low, with 73% of respondents reporting that it’s a bad time to buy a home. Year over year, the full index is down 8.5 points.
“The ‘Good Time to Buy’ component of the index reached yet another record low, with high home prices, rising mortgage rates, and macroeconomic uncertainty serving as consumers’ chief concerns,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Only 24% of consumers believe it’s a good time to buy a home, with similar levels of pessimism expressed by nearly all of the demographic groups surveyed,”
Palim continued: “This month, we also saw a survey-high share of consumers expecting their financial situations to worsen over the next year; this was especially true among current homeowners. These concerns, together with the run-up in mortgage rates since the end of 2021, will likely diminish mortgage demand from move-up buyers – and fewer move-up buyers mean fewer available entry-level homes, adding to the rising-rate challenges for potential first-time homebuyers. If consumer pessimism toward homebuying conditions continues and the recent mortgage rate increases are sustained, then we expect to see an even greater cooling of the housing market than previously forecast.”
National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators Archive
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