Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 1.2 points to 82.7 in February, but the net share of consumers who think home prices will go up over the next 12 months fell 4 percentage points to 33 percent, continuing the downward trend from January. The largest HPSI component increases in February were consumers' confidence about not losing their job and the share of those saying now is a good time to buy a home, both up 4 percentage points.
"Our February results show the most modest consumer home price expectations since late 2012," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "For consumers who think it's a bad time to buy a home, whose share has trended up from its recent low last November, high home prices have been an increasingly contributing factor. A slower pace of home price appreciation may provide some relief for potential homebuyers, especially first-time buyers who couldn't reap the benefits of selling a home at high prices to buy another one."
Among other insights:
- The net share of respondents who say that it is a good time to buy a house rose 4 percentage points to 35%. Rebounding from last month's all-time survey low, 63% of respondents now say it is a good time to buy a house.
- The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell a house fell 2 percentage points to 7%.
- The net share of respondents who say that home prices will go up fell 4 percentage points to 33%.
- The net share of those who say mortgage interest rates will go down rose 2 percentage points to negative 50% this month, as fewer consumers say mortgage rates will go up.
- The net share of respondents who say they are not concerned with losing their job rose 4 percentage points to 75%. A new all-time survey high was reached as 87% of respondents say they are not concerned about losing their job.
- The net share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 3 percentage points to 15%.