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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

HPSI Flat as Continued Economic Optimism Offset by Softening Housing Attitudes

March 7, 2019
Measure of Consumer Sentiment Down 1.5 Points Year over Year

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased 0.4 points in February to 84.3, reversing some of the increase seen in January. The largest change among the HPSI components this month was a 9-percentage point drop in the net share of Americans who reported substantially higher household income compared to the same time last year, which was offset by an 8-percentage point jump in the job confidence component.

“The HPSI held steady in February, as consumers’ continuing optimism about economic conditions seems to be balanced with softening attitudes toward the housing market,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Job confidence reached a new survey high, but consumers were less optimistic about home buying and selling conditions than they were a year ago. Notably, home price growth expectations have trended significantly downward, with the net share of consumers expecting home prices to rise falling 19 percentage points from its survey high established at the start of 2018. While declining home price expectations may point to improving affordability, the share of consumers who think it’s a bad time to buy has grown over the last year, and high home prices remain the most frequently cited concern. It is plausible that consumers believe that price gains could decelerate further, making it worthwhile to wait rather than act now.”

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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