Fannie Mae - Federal National Mortgage Association

12/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2019 07:45

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December 09, 2019

Home Purchase Sentiment Rebounds in November, Re-Approaches Survey High

Matthew Classick

202-752-3662

WASHINGTON, DC - The Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased 2.7 points in November to 91.5, reversing the decline from last month and re-approaching the survey high set in August. Three of the six HPSI components increased month over month, including large increases in the percentage of Americans who believe it's a good time to buy and that home prices will go up over the next 12 months.

'Over the past year, a growing share of consumers say that they expect mortgage rates to remain steady,' said Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. 'While low rates have helped boost housing affordability compared to last year, the HPSI has increased only moderately in that timeframe. This may be due in part to the ongoing challenge of tight housing supply, especially in the starter home market. That lean supply means the recent mortgage rate decline - holding payment size constant - allows borrowers to increase bid prices for homes. As a result, home prices are propelled higher, mitigating the benefit of lower borrowing costs for many borrowers. Additionally, a rising savings rate suggests that consumers could be growing more financially conservative. Looking ahead, we continue to expect a steady but modest pace of growth in home purchase activity.'

HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX - COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS

Fannie Mae's 2019 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in November by 2.7 points to 91.5. The HPSI is up 5.3 points compared to the same time last year. Read the full research report for additional information.

  • Good/Bad Time to Buy: The percentage of Americans who say it is a good time to buy increased this month from 57% to 61%, while the percentage who say it is a bad time to buy decreased from 36% to 29%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy increased 11 percentage points and is the highest it's been since March 2018.
  • Good/Bad Time to Sell: The percentage of Americans who say it is a good time to sell decreased this month from 67% to 66%, while the percentage who say it's a bad time to sell remained flat at 26%. As a result, the net share of those who say it is a good time to sell fell 1 percentage point.
  • Home Price Expectations: The percentage of Americans who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased this month from 41% to 44%, while the percentage who said home prices will go down decreased from 14% to 10%. The share who think home prices will stay the same increased from 39% to 40%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say home prices will go up increased 7 percentage points.
  • Mortgage Rate Expectations: The percentage of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down in the next 12 months decreased this month from 12% to 11%, while the percentage who say mortgage rates will go up increased from 37% to 39%. The share who think mortgage rates will stay the same increased from 44% to 42%. The net share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months fell 3 percentage points.
  • Job Concerns: The percentage of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months remained flat at 86%, while the percentage who say they are concerned also remained flat at 14%. As a result, the net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job did not change.
  • Household Income: The percentage of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago remained the same at 28%, while the percentage who say their household is significantly lower decreased from 12% to 10%. The percentage who say their household income is about the same increased from 59% to 60%. As a result, the net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 2 percentage points.

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 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 (as of January 2018). 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 November 2019 National Housing Survey was conducted between November 1, 2019 and November 24, 2019. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by PSB, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

DETAILED HPSI & NHS FINDINGS

For detailed findings from the November 2019 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.

Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) group or survey respondents included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae's business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR group represent the views of that group or survey respondents as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

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.