WASHINGTON – April 9, 2019 – The March Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) jumped 5.5 points to 89.8 – its highest point since June 2018 and a reversal from last month's slight decline.
In good news for the real estate market, the index of buyers thinking it's a "good time to buy" rose (up 7 percentage points) along with the seller index that it's a "good time to sell" (up 13 percentage points).
Complementing that rise, more consumers expect interest rates to fall within the next 12 months. That component rose 7 percentage points.
"A brighter housing market outlook drove this month's increase in the HPSI – a welcome sign from consumers as we enter the spring and summer homebuying seasons," says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "The results further corroborate the positive effect of falling mortgage rates on affordability, which we expect will help support a rebound in home sales."
Duncan says that job confidence – while little changed from last month – remains positive, while "income growth perceptions" potentially support an uptick in housing demand. The net share of Americans who say they're not concerned about losing their job decreased 1 percentage point to 80 percent – up 9 percentage points year-to-year.
In addition, the net share of those who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 2 percentage points to 20 percent, a 3 percentage point year-to-year increase.
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