Confidence in housing again met an all-time high in September in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), propelled by optimism from buyers, including renters. The HPSI overall posted 88.3 in September, 0.3 percentage points higher than the month prior.
“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,” says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president 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. 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.”
The share of homebuyers surveyed for the Index who believe now is a good time to buy rose 10 percentage points to 28 percent, while the share of sellers who believe now is a good time to sell rose two percentage points to 38 percent. The share of those surveyed who believe home prices will go up fell eight percentage points to 40 percent.