In December, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased by 2.9 points to 67.2, mainly due to a rise in consumers expecting mortgage rates to drop over the next year. A record 31% of those surveyed predict lower mortgage rates, and 17% consider it to be a good time to buy, up from the previous record low of 14%.
Mark Palim of Fannie Mae notes this shift in expectations follows recent bond market trends and a decrease in 30-year mortgage rates. Homeowners and higher-income groups are particularly optimistic about potential rate decreases. This optimism may lead to improved home affordability and an increase in home listings in 2024, although challenges like high home prices remain, particularly for first-time buyers.
The survey also reflects a slight increase in those considering it a good time to buy and a decrease in those thinking it's a good time to sell. Expectations for home prices and mortgage rates are shifting, with more consumers anticipating stability or decreases in rates. Concerns about job loss have marginally increased, and household income levels show little change compared to the previous year. The HPSI summarizes consumers' sentiments on the housing market, offering insights into their views and expectations.
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