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Fannie Mae: Only 17% Of Consumers Think It’s A Good Time to Buy A Home

Sarah Wolak
Jun 07, 2022
Fannie Mae HQ

The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 19% to 17% in this year’s Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI).

  • While May's report was less negative than April's, consumers remained pessimistic, specifically about mortgage rates, inflation and job security while perusing the housing market.
  • Confidence in the housing market is still low; however, homebuyer concerns seemed to decrease in small increments.
  • 79% of surveyed consumers reported that it was a bad time to buy a home.

Fannie Mae's monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) survey for May found that those surveyed expressed concerns about housing affordability, with 79% of respondents believing it’s a bad time to buy a home.

The monthly survey, released today, reflects and conveys consumers’ home purchase feelings, attitudes, and concerns from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey into a single number, the HPSI. The index remained relatively flat in May, decreasing by only 0.3 points but inching closer to its 10-year- and pandemic-low of 63.0 from April 2020.

May’s report contained notes of consumer pessimism — specifically about mortgage rates, inflation, and job security — while perusing the housing market. The data, however, reflected less pessimism than found in April’s report.

“Consumers’ expectations that their personal financial situations will worsen over the next year reached an all-time high in the May survey, and they expressed greater concern about job security,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist. “Further, respondents’ pessimism regarding home-buying conditions carried forward into May, with the percentage of respondents reporting it’s a bad time to buy a home hitting a new survey high. The share reporting that it’s ‘easy to get a mortgage’ also decreased across almost all segments.”

While confidence in the housing market is still low, the percentages of respondents that reported concerns about selling, buying, mortgage rates, and job concerns decreased, albeit in small increments. Consumers shared mixed reviews about the state of real estate shopping. 

For example, while the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a home decreased from 19% to 17%, the percentage of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up decreased from 73% to 70%. 

“These results," Duncan said, "suggest to us that increased mortgage rates, high home prices, and inflation will likely continue to squeeze would-be homebuyers — as well as those potential sellers with lower, locked-in mortgage rates — out of the market, supporting our forecast that home sales will slow meaningfully through the rest of this year and into next.”

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