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Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment


Posted: March 27, 2020 by Jay Ginsberg

The February 2020 National Housing Survey was conducted between February 1, 2020 and February 22, 2020. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey (NHS) polled approximately 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used 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). As cell phones have become common and many households no longer have landline phones, the NHS contacts 70 percent of respondents via their cell phones.

 

The Survey Says:

·         Good/Bad Time to Buy: The percentage of Americans who say it is a good time to buy remained the same this month at 59%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy increased from 30% to 32%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy decreased 2 percentage points.

·         Good/Bad Time to Sell: The percentage of Americans who say it is a good time to sell increased from 66% to 67%, while the percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell increased from 21% to 22%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell stayed the same.

·         Home Price Expectations: The percentage of Americans who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased this month from 48% to 47%, while the percentage who said home prices will go down increased from 7% to 8%. The share who think home prices will stay the same remained unchanged at 38%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say home prices will go up decreased 2 percentage points.

·         Mortgage Rate Expectations: The percentage of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down in the next 12 months increased this month from 7% to 8%, while the percentage who expect mortgage rates to go up increased from 33% to 38%. The share who think mortgage rates will stay the same decreased from 48% to 46%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months decreased 4 percentage points.

·         Job Concerns: The percentage of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months decreased from 86% to 85%, while the percentage who say they are concerned decreased from 14% to 13%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job remained unchanged.

·         Household Income: The percentage of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased from 27% to 32%, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower remained the same at 11%. The percentage who say their household income is about the same decreased from 61% to 56%. As a result, the net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 5 percentage points.

In Summary: Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased in February by 0.5 points to 92.5. The HPSI is up 8.2 points compared to the same time last year. Read the full research report for additional information.

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