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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Housing Sentiment Again Shows Signs of Plateauing

May 7, 2024
HPSI Flat in April as Consumers Continue to Adjust to Higher Rate Environment

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) was unchanged in April at 71.9 and is showing signs of once again plateauing as consumers continue to adjust to the higher interest rate and home price environment. This month, 67% of consumers indicated that it’s a good time to sell a home, while 20% said it’s a good time to buy a home. These two indicators are up 10 percentage points and 3 percentage points, respectively, since the end of 2023, despite mortgage rates having moved steadily upward. Additionally, the share of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go down over the next 12 months fell to 26%. The full index is up 5.1 points year over year.

“The HPSI, unchanged this month, may have hit another plateau as consumers maintain their ‘wait and see’ approach to the housing market,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Overall, housing sentiment increased from November through February, driven largely by consumer belief that mortgage rates would move lower. However, recent data showing stickier-than-expected inflation, rising mortgage rates, and continued home price appreciation, appear to have given consumers pause regarding the market’s direction. While only 20% of consumers think it’s a good time to buy a home, 67% think it’s a good time to sell one, a share that’s moved steadily upward since the start of the year. We think consumers’ generally improved sense of home-selling conditions bodes well for listings and housing activity, particularly for the segment of the population who may need to move for lifestyle reasons and have already begun adjusting their financial expectations to the current mortgage rate and price environment. However, for potential homebuyers in less of a rush to transact, ongoing affordability challenges may continue to keep many of them on the sidelines – one reason why we expect home sales to tick up only gradually over the course of the year.”

Downloads and Related Links
April 2024 News Release
April 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.