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Housing confidence falls in February, remains volatile

March 14, 2018 | By

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) fell 3.7 points in February to 85.8, reversing last month’s increase. “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,” says 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.”

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.

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Estimates, forecasts, and other views expressed in this article should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae’s expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and may change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Neither Fannie Mae nor its Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group guarantees that the information in this article is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or underlying information could produce materially different results. The ESR Group’s views expressed in this article speak only as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

 

 

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