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National Housing Survey/Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI)

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

August 1, 2011

Fannie Mae's August 2011 national consumer attitudinal survey finds that Americans’ attitudes about the economy, household finances, and homeownership are growing more pessimistic – with 78 percent of Americans believing that the economy is moving in the wrong direction, while only 16 percent think the economy is moving in the right direction. Twenty-seven percent of Americans believe home prices will go down and 22 percent of Americans polled expect their financial situation to worsen over the next year – the highest levels of pessimism for both indicators since August 2010.

Monthly Housing Survey

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.

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.

On this webpage you will find a news release with details about the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey monthly release and the August 2011 data release highlighting eleven consumer attitudinal indicators.

Downloads and Related Links
News Release
August 2011 National Housing Survey Data Release (PDF)

Highlights of the August 2011 Monthly National Housing Survey

Homeownership and Renting

  • For the third month in a row, Americans expect home prices to decline over the next year. On average, Americans expect home prices to go down by 0.5 percent (compared to an expected decline of 0.3 percent in July).
  • While 69 percent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a home (up 3 percentage points since last month), only 9 percent of those polled say it is a good time to sell one's home (down 2 percentage points since July).
  • Similar to July, 46 percent of Americans believe home rental prices will increase in the next 12 months, while only 6 percent expect a decline in home rental prices (down by 1 percentage point since last month).

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The number of Americans who expect their personal financial situation to worsen over the next year increased for the fourth month in a row (up from 20 percent in July to 22 percent in August).
  • Forty-one percent of Americans report significantly higher expenses compared to one year ago (up by 1 percentage point since July).