Easing Mortgage Rates and Home Prices Provide Slight Boost to Homebuyer Sentiment
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 3.7 points in December to 61.0, but the index remains only slightly above its all-time low set in October. Three of the index's six components improved month over month, including those associated with homebuying conditions, mortgage rate outlook, and job security. Only 21% of respondents believe it's a good time to buy, likely owing to the ongoing affordability challenges posed by elevated mortgage rates and home prices. Year over year, the full index is down 13.2 points.
"In December, the HPSI inched upward slightly, as consumers reported increased expectations that mortgage rates and home prices may decrease over the next year – perhaps reflecting recently observed declines in mortgage rates and average home prices," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "However, the HPSI remains very low by historical standards, particularly the ‘good time to buy’ component, and respondents continue to cite high home prices and unfavorable mortgage rates as the primary reasons for their pessimism. As we enter 2023, we expect affordability to remain the top challenge for potential homebuyers, as even small declines in rates and home prices – from the perspective of the buyer – may not produce sufficient purchasing power. At the same time, existing homeowners may continue to wait to list their properties, since many have already locked in lower mortgage rates, creating minimal incentive to sell and buy again until rates are more favorable. We think the resulting tension will contribute to a continued decline in home sales in the coming months."
Downloads and Related Links
December 2022 News Release
December 2022 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.