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Housing Sentiment Up Slightly on Reported Household Income Gains

Housing Sentiment Up Slightly

Based on Reported Household Income Gains.

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased slightly in November, rising 0.5 points to 86.2. The increase can be attributed primarily to an increase in the net share of Americans who reported significantly higher income, which hit a new survey high after jumping 5 percentage points. The net share of Americans who said it is a good time to buy a home rose 2 percentage points, while the net share who said it is a good time to sell a home remained unchanged.

Meanwhile, the net share of survey respondents who expect home prices to go up fell 4 percentage points, and the net share who expressed greater job confidence fell 1 percentage point. Finally, the net share who expect mortgage rates to go down increased 1 percentage point.

“The HPSI has moved within a tight range over the past five months, as positive sentiment regarding the overall economy continued to offset cooling housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers’ perceptions of growth in their household income reached a survey high this month, helping to absorb some of the impact of increasing mortgage rates on housing market activity. Meanwhile, the net share of consumers expecting home prices to increase over the next 12 months continues to moderate, dropping by 13 percentage points since this time last year.”

Home Purchase Sentiment Index – Component Highlights

Fannie Mae’s 2018 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in November by 0.5 points to 86.2. The HPSI is down 1.6 points compared with the same time last year.

  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home rose 2 percentage points from last month to 23%.
  • The net share of those who say it is a good time to sell a home remained unchanged at 35%.
  • The net share of those who say home prices will go up fell 4 percentage points to 33%, declining for the second consecutive month.
  • The net share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months rose 1 percentage point to -56%.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job fell 1 percentage point to 77%.
  • The net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 5 percentage points to a survey high of 24%.

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.

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