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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

Housing Sentiment Drifts Lower as Affordability Constraints Sharpen

February 7, 2022
Younger Households Grow Particularly Pessimistic, ‘Good Time to Buy’ Measure Hits All-Time Low

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 2.4 points to 71.8 in January, its lowest level since May 2020, as affordability constraints continue to weigh on the housing market. Overall, four of the index’s six components decreased month over month, including the components measuring consumers’ perceptions of homebuying and home-selling conditions. In January, a survey record-low 25% of respondents reported that it’s a good time to buy a home, compared to the 69% of consumers who reported that it’s a good time to sell. Consumers also reported greater concerns about job stability and the future path of mortgage rates. Year over year, the full index is down 5.9 points.

“Consumer sentiment toward housing softened further in January – the HPSI fell 2.4 points to 71.8 – as affordability and supply constraints continue to limit home purchase opportunities, particularly among younger households,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Younger consumers – more so than other groups – expect home prices to rise even further, and they also reported a greater sense of macroeconomic pessimism.  Additionally, while the younger respondents are typically the most optimistic about their future finances, this month their sense of optimism around their personal financial situation declined. All of this points back to the current lack of affordable housing stock, as younger generations appear to be feeling it particularly acutely and, absent an uptick in supply, may have their homeownership aspirations delayed. On the whole, the latest HPSI results are consistent with our forecast of slowing housing activity in the coming year.”

Downloads and Related Links
January 2022 News Release
January 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.