National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Housing Confidence Falls, Remains Volatile

March 7, 2018

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) fell 3.7 points in February to 85.8, reversing last month’s increase. The decline can be attributed to decreases in five of the six HPSI components. The net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased 5 percentage points compared to January. Additionally, the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home decreased 2 percentage points. The net share who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased 7 percentage points in February, while the net share of consumers who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months also decreased 7 percentage points. Americans expressed a weakened sense of job security, with the net share who say they are not concerned about losing their job decreasing 2 percentage points. Finally, the net share reporting that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 1 percentage point.

“Volatility in consumer housing sentiment continued into February, with the new tax law beginning to impact respondents’ take-home pay and the stock market creating negative headlines due to early-month turbulence,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Additionally, consumers’ expectations for higher mortgage rates suggest that consumers expect the Fed to hike rates a few more times in 2018. We will continue to track how consumer housing attitudes trend in the coming months as these various market forces play out.”

On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the HPSI and NHS results, the latest Data Release highlighting the consumer attitudinal indicators, month-over-month key indicator data, an overview and white paper about the HPSI, technical notes providing in-depth information about the NHS methodology, the questionnaire used for the survey, and a comparative assessment of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and other consumer surveys.

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