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Perceived Homebuying and Home-Selling Conditions Diverged Further in May

Perceived Homebuying and Home-Selling Conditions Diverged Further in May

 

Affordability Constraints Have Consumers Increasingly Convinced It’s a Good Time to Sell, Bad Time to Buy

WASHINGTON, DC – June 7, 2023 – The Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) decreased in May by 1.2 points to 65.6, as affordability constraints continue to color consumers’ perceptions of homebuying and home-selling conditions. Four of the HPSI’s six components decreased month over month, most notably the component polling consumers’ belief that it’s a “good time to buy,” which is once again nearing its survey low. The “good time to sell” component, however, increased in May to its highest level since last July. Additionally, for the second consecutive month, a greater share of consumers indicated that they expect home prices to increase over the next year. The full index is down 2.6 pointsyear over year.

“As we near the end of the spring homebuying season, the latest HPSI results indicate that affordability hurdles, including high home prices and mortgage rates, remain top of mind for consumers, most of whom continue to tell us that it’s a bad time to buy a home but a good time to sell one,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Consumers also indicated that they don’t expect these affordability constraints to improve in the near future, with significant majorities thinking that both home prices and mortgage rates will either increase or remain the same over the next year. Notably, the same factors impacting affordability may also be affecting the perceived ease of getting a mortgage. This was particularly true among renters: 81% believe it would be difficult to get a mortgage today, matching a survey high.”

Home Purchase Sentiment Index – Component Highlights

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased in May by 1.2 points to 65.6. The HPSI is down 2.6 points compared to the same time last year. Read the full research report for additional information. 

  • Good/Bad Time to Buy: The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 23% to 19%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy increased from 77% to 80%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy decreased 7 percentage points month over month. 
  • Good/Bad Time to Sell: The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from 62% to 65%, while the percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell decreased from 38% to 34%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell increased 8 percentage points month over month.
  • Home Price Expectations: The percentage of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased from 37% to 39%, while the percentage who say home prices will go down decreased from 32% to 28%. The share who think home prices will stay the same increased from 31% to 33%. As a result, the net share of those who say home prices will go up increased 6 percentage points month over month.
  • Mortgage Rate Expectations: The percentage of respondents who say mortgage rates will go down in the next 12 months decreased from 22% to 19%, while the percentage who expect mortgage rates to go up increased from 47% to 50%. The share who think mortgage rates will stay the same remained unchanged at 31%. As a result, the net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months decreased 5 percentage points month over month.
  • Job Loss Concern: The percentage of respondents who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months decreased from 79% to 77%, while the percentage who say they are concerned increased from 21% to 22%. As a result, the net share of those who say they are not concerned about losing their job decreased 3 percentage points month over month.
  • Household Income: The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased from 24% to 20%, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower increased from 11% to 12%. The percentage who say their household income is about the same increased from 64% to 67%. As a result, the net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased 5 percentage points month over month.

About Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index

The Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) distills information about consumers’ home purchase sentiment from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey® (NHS) into a single number. The HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions and complements existing data sources to inform housing-related analysis and decision making. The HPSI is constructed from answers to six NHS questions that solicit consumers’ evaluations of housing market conditions and address topics that are related to their home purchase decisions. The questions ask consumers whether they think that it is a good or bad time to buy or to sell a house, what direction they expect home prices and mortgage interest rates to move, how concerned they are about losing their jobs, and whether their incomes are higher than they were a year earlier.

About Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey

The National Housing Survey (NHS) is a monthly attitudinal survey, launched in 2010, which polls the adult general population of the United States to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, purchase and rental prices, household finances, and overall confidence in the economy. Each respondent is asked more than 100 questions, making the NHS one of the most detailed attitudinal longitudinal surveys of its kind, to track attitudinal shifts, six of which are used to construct the HPSI (findings are compared with the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). For more information, please see the Technical Notes

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 support the housing market. The May 2023 National Housing Survey was conducted between May 1, 2023 and May 22, 2023. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period.  The May 2023 NHS was conducted exclusively through AmeriSpeak®, NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based panel, on behalf of PSB Insights and in coordination with Fannie Mae. Calculations are made using unrounded and weighted respondent level data to help ensure precision in NHS results from wave to wave. As a result, minor differences in calculated data (summarized results, net calculations, etc.) of up to 1 percentage point may occur due to rounding.

Detailed HPSI & NHS Findings

For detailed findings from the Home Purchase Sentiment Index and National Housing Survey, as well as a brief HPSI overview and detailed white paper, technical notes on the NHS methodology, and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Surveys page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth special topic studies, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies of NHS results. 

To receive e-mail updates with other housing market research from Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group, please click here.

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