The Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTCQB) Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) fell for the second straight month in December to 74.0, a 6.0 point decline from November.
Five of the six HPSI components decreased month over month, and consumers reported a substantially more pessimistic view of homebuying and home-selling conditions, which drove the relatively large monthly change. Year over year, the HPSI is down 17.7 points.
“The HPSI declined for the second consecutive month and fell to its lowest level since May 2020, as consumers adjusted to the worsening COVID-19 conditions of the first few weeks of December–the survey collection period,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Both the ‘Good Time to Sell’ and ‘Good Time to Buy’ components fell significantly, with respondents overwhelmingly noting the unfavourability of economic conditions. In particular, the sell-side component fell for the first time since April and by 18 points, reversing most of the increases of the past three months and implying to us that, at least temporarily, potential home sellers might wait to list their homes. If so, this could have the effect of perpetuating already-tight inventory levels and supporting additional (albeit lesser) home price growth, which could contribute to a further moderating of home sales.”