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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

July 2011 National Housing Survey Monthly Indicators

July 1, 2011
New Monthly Indicators Provide Timely Insights into Key Consumer Attitudes Driving Sentiment About the Economy, Household Finances, and Housing Choices

Fannie Mae's July national consumer attitudinal survey finds that Americans’ attitudes about the economy, household finances, and homeownership are growing more pessimistic – with seventy percent of Americans believing that the economy is moving in the wrong direction, while only 23 percent think the economy is moving in the right direction. Key indicators show that more consumers across the country have diminished expectations for home prices and their personal finances, more are thinking about renting as a next step, and twice as many are reporting significantly higher expenses than incomes.

Fannie Mae’s monthly national consumer attitudinal survey report provides eleven indicators offering a window into the opinions of Americans across the country. These behavioral insights convey what consumers think about the outlook for owning and renting a home and about their household finances, and may serve as key inputs for determining the future course of investment across housing types.

The most detailed attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polls 1,000 Americans each month to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

On this webpage you will find a news release with details about the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey monthly release, the June 2011 data release highlighting eleven consumer attitudinal indicators, and technical notes on survey methodology and the questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator.

Downloads and Related Links
News Release
July 2011 National Housing Survey Data Release (PDF)
Technical Notes (PDF)

Highlights of the July 2011 Monthly National Housing Survey

Homeownership and Renting

  • On average and consistent with June, Americans believe home prices will decline slightly over the next year.
  • Only 11 percent of respondents say it is a good time to sell one’s home (similar to May and June 2011 survey results).
  • Despite Americans’ expectations that rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, fewer Americans say they would buy their next home (down 5 percentage points) and more of those surveyed say they would rent (up by 3 percentage points).

Household Finances

  • For the third month in a row, optimism about personal finances has declined, with 35 percent of respondents expecting their finances to get better over the next year (down from 40 percent in April).For the third month in a row, optimism about personal finances has declined, with 35 percent of respondents expecting their finances to get better over the next year (down from 40 percent in April).
  • Consistent with June, 20 percent of respondents report significantly higher household incomes over the past 12 months, while 17 percent report significantly lower incomes.
  • As compared to past months, four times as many Americans report significantly higher household expenses (up from 37 percent in June to 40 percent in July) as significantly lower expenses (10 percent).