Housing Confidence Falls, Remains Volatile
Thursday, March 8th, 2018
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell 3.7 points in February to 85.8, reversing last month's increase. The decline can be attributed to decreases in five of the six HPSI components. The net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home decreased 5 percentage points compared to January. Additionally, the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home decreased 2 percentage points. The net share who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased 7 percentage points in February, while the net share of consumers who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months also decreased 7 percentage points. Americans expressed a weakened sense of job security, with the net share who say they are not concerned about losing their job decreasing 2 percentage points. Finally, the net share reporting that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 1 percentage point.
"Volatility in consumer housing sentiment continued into February, with the new tax law beginning to impact respondents' take-home pay and the stock market creating negative headlines due to early-month turbulence," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Additionally, consumers' expectations for higher mortgage rates suggest that consumers expect the Fed to hike rates a few more times in 2018. We will continue to track how consumer housing attitudes trend in the coming months as these various market forces play out."
HOME PURCHASE SENTIMENT INDEX – COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS
Fannie Mae's 2018 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) decreased in February by 3.7 points to 85.8. The HPSI is down 2.5 points compared with the same time last year.
The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased 5 percentage points to 22%.
The net share of those who say it is a good time to sell fell 2 percentage points to 36%.
The net share of Americans who say home prices will go up decreased 7 percentage points to 45% in February.
The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months fell 7 percentage points to -57%.
The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job fell 2 percentage points to 71%.
The net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 1 percentage point to 17%. The share who say their household income is significantly lower than it was 12 months ago fell 2 percentage points to 9%, matching a survey low last seen in February 2017.