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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

More Americans Express Concern About Losing Their Job, Latest HPSI Results Show

April 7, 2020
COVID-19 Concerns Lead to Steep Drop in Housing Sentiment

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) fell 11.7 points to 80.8 in March, its lowest reading since December 2016. Five of the six HPSI components decreased month over month, including the percentage of Americans expressing concern about losing their job within the next 12 months. Consumers also reported that homebuying and home-selling conditions have worsened and took a more pessimistic view of home price growth. Year over year, the HPSI is down 9.0 points.

“In March, the HPSI dropped to its lowest level since December 2016, with Americans reporting greater concern about their job security than at any point in the last six years,” said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Attitudes about the current home-selling environment deteriorated markedly, falling to their lowest level since January 2017. A survey record one-month drop in optimism about the direction of the economy appears to have weakened consumers’ views of both the current home-selling and homebuying environment, though the latter is likely buffered in part by low mortgage rates. When asked why it’s a bad time to buy or sell a home, approximately 7% of consumers offered COVID-19 as an unprompted response, one of the highest percentages of non-standard answers in the survey’s history. We expect these developments to weigh heavily on housing activity during the spring/summer homebuying season.”

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.

Downloads and Related Links

News Release
March 2020 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.