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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Consumers Show Increased Caution in Home Purchase Sentiment in September

October 7, 2016

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 2.2 points to 82.8 in September, moving further off of survey highs. Consumer caution surfaced in the September HPSI, in which four of the six components decreased during the month. The largest decrease was seen in the net share of consumers who expect mortgage interest rates to go down over the next 12 months, which fell 6 percentage points. This was followed by a 5 percentage point drop in the net share of consumers who say now is a good time to buy a home and a 3 percentage point drop in the net share of consumers reporting confidence about not losing their job over the next year. Household Income was the only HPSI component to increase in September with slightly more consumers than the previous month reporting that their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.

“The decline in the HPSI over the past two months from the survey-high in July of 86.5 adds a note of caution to our moderately positive housing outlook,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Downside changes came in particular from the HPSI components mortgage rate direction and good time to buy a house. In addition, the starter home tight supply and rising home prices as well as the unsettled political environment are likely giving many consumers a reason to pause or question their home purchase sentiment.”

On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the HPSI and NHS results and the latest Data Release highlighting the consumer attitudinal indicators.

September News Release
September 2016 National Housing Survey Data Release (PDF)