News Release

July 07, 2017

Housing Sentiment at Record High as Consumers’ Confidence in Home-Selling Environment Strengthens

Matthew Classick

202-752-3662

WASHINGTON, DC – The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 2.1 percentage points in June to 88.3, matching the all-time high from February of this year. The rise can be attributed to increases in four of the six HPSI components. The net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home reached a new record high, increasing an additional 7 percentage points, outpacing the net 3 percentage point increase of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy a home. As a result, the net share who say it’s a good time to sell compared to those saying it’s a good time to buy widened once again this month, which continues to indicate a potential seller’s market. Americans also expressed greater belief that mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months, with that component increasing 3 percentage points. Finally, the net share of consumers who think home prices will go up increased by 6 percentage points this month.

“The June HPSI reading matches the previous record set in February and reflects the trend toward a sellers’ market that respondents indicated last month,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.  “Consumers are also growing more optimistic about their ability to get a mortgage, and lenders expect credit standards to ease further going forward, as shown in our Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. While consumer optimism on this metric is as high as we’ve seen in the survey’s seven-year history, it’s worth noting that this record is relative to the fairly tight standards in place post-crisis when we started collecting National Housing Survey data. Nevertheless, in the face of very tight housing supply, easing credit standards may fail to have the desired effect and could have the unintended consequence of fueling further house price increases.”

HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX – COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS

Fannie Mae’s 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in June by 2.1 percentage points to 88.3. The HPSI is up 5.1 percentage points compared with the same time last year.

  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased 3 percentage points to 30%.
  • The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell increased by 7 percentage points to 39%, rising to a new survey high for the second consecutive month.
  • The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up increased by 6 percentage points in June to 46% after declining in May.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months rose 3 percentage points to -49%, following the trend from the last two months.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job fell 5 percentage points to 66%, declining further from last month.
  • The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell 1 percentage point in June to 17%.

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 most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey (NHS) polled 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 60 percent of respondents via their cell phones (as of October 2014). 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 stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future. The June 2017 National Housing Survey was conducted between June 1, 2017 and June 25, 2017. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

DETAILED HPSI & NHS FINDINGS

For detailed findings from the June 2017 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.

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Fannie Mae helps make the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and affordable rental housing possible for millions of Americans. We partner with lenders to create housing opportunities for families across the country. We are driving positive changes in housing finance to make the home buying process easier, while reducing costs and risk. To learn more, visit fanniemae.com and follow us on twitter.com/fanniemae.