The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) inched up by 0.3 points in September to 88.3, matching its peak set in June.
"The biggest driver for the increase in the HPSI is the rebound in the good time to buy sentiment, which outweighed the largest drag—a sizable reduction in the net share of consumers expecting home prices to rise over the next year," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Details in the survey showed a meaningful pickup in the good time to buy component, especially from the renter respondents. Additionally, perceptions of easing inventory helped boost the net share saying that now is a good time to buy, which is consistent with less bullish home price appreciation sentiment during the month.”
According to the survey, the net share of Americans who believe it is a good time to buy a home rose 10 percentage points to 28 percent, while the net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell increased by two percentage points to 38 percent, which is slightly below the survey high of 39 percent.
The net share of Americans who say that home prices will go up decreased by eight percentage points in September to 40 percent, while the net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next twelve months fell two percentage points to -47 percent.
The survey was conducted before the full brunt of the damage from the recent hurricanes to strike the American mainland was calculated. “Overall, we believe that the devastating impacts of the hurricanes will likely weigh on home sales in coming months, posing downside risks for our forecast, which already calls for only a modest gain in home sales this year," said Duncan.