Skip to main content
National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Households May Finally Be Adjusting to Higher Mortgage Rates

April 8, 2024
Survey Shows Greater Optimism Toward Homebuying and Home-Selling Conditions, Even as Pessimism Toward Rates Jumps

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 0.9 points in March to 71.9, its first decline since November 2023, due primarily to increased pessimism about the direction of mortgage rates. Thirty-four percent of consumers now believe that mortgage rates will go up over the next 12 months, up from 32 percent last month and more than the 29 percent who believe rates will decline. Despite the jump in pessimism toward rates, consumer perceptions of both homebuying and home-selling conditions ticked up slightly again in March, and both measures have now risen multiple months in a row. Overall, though, the lack of housing affordability continues to weigh on consumers’ belief that it’s a “good time to buy” a home, with only 21 percent agreeing with that particular sentiment. The full index is up 10.6 points year over year.

“The HPSI remained relatively flat in March, but we’re seeing signs that consumers may be adjusting their expectations for the housing market to better accommodate the higher mortgage rate and home price environment,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Both our ‘good time to buy’ and ‘good time to sell’ measures continued their slow upward drift this month. However, consumers took a slightly more pessimistic view on the likely direction of mortgage rates, likely reflecting the fact that actual mortgage rates have moved upward since the start of the year. With the historically low rates of the pandemic era now firmly behind us, some households appear to be moving past the hurdle of last year’s sharp jump in rates, an adjustment that we think could help further thaw the housing market. We noted in our latest monthly forecast that we expect to see a gradual increase in home listings and sales transactions in the coming year. We believe this will be driven not only by those coming off the sidelines due to a rate-related recalibration, but also by households who may need to move for other life reasons."

Downloads and Related Links
March 2024 News Release
March 2024 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.