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Rosier Economic Sentiment Boosts US Housing Attitudes in January

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The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) increased by 2% in January to 82.7, ending a five-month decline. Four of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up in January.

The net share of Americans who believe that home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose by 7%, and the net share reporting significantly higher household income in the past 12 months rose by 5%. The net percentage of those who say that it is a good time to sell a house rose by 2%, while the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell by 3%. On net, consumers demonstrated slightly greater confidence about not losing their jobs, while the net share of those who believe mortgage rates will go down remained unchanged.

“Three months after the presidential election, measures of consumer optimism regarding personal financial prospects and the economy are at or near the highest levels we’ve seen in the nearly seven-year history of the National Housing Survey,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “However, any significant acceleration in housing activity will depend on whether consumers’ favorable expectations are realized in the form of income gains sufficient to offset constrained housing affordability. If consumers’ anticipation of further increases in home prices and mortgage rates materialize over the next 12 months, then we may see housing affordability tighten even more.”

Home Purchase Sentiment Index – Component Highlights:

Fannie Mae’s 2017 Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased in January by 2% to 82.7. The HPSI is up 1.2 percentage points compared with the same time last year.

  • The net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a house fell by 3 percentage points to 29%, matching the survey low from May and September 2016.
  • The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell rose by 2 percentage points to 15%.
  • The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up increased by 7 percentage points in January to 42%.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months remained constant this month at -55%.
  • The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job rose 1 percentage point to 69%.
  • The net share of Americans who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 5 percentage points to 15% in December, reversing the drop in December.

(Source: Fannie Mae)

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