Confidence in housing jumped in March in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), with the HPSI overall posting 88.3, 2.5 percentage points higher than one month prior and 3.8 percentage points higher than one year prior.
The boost was fueled by homebuyers preparing for real estate season this spring, says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. The amount of buyers who believe now is a good time to purchase leapt to 32 percent—a 10-percentage point surge.
“The HPSI’s recent run of volatility continued in March, as it recovered last month’s loss and remained within the five-point range of the past 12 months,” Duncan says. “The primary driver of this month’s increase was the sizable rise in the net share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home, which returned the indicator to its year-ago level. On the whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy.”
The amount of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell shimmied up, as well, three percentage points to 39 percent. Across consumers, 42 percent believe home prices will rise, down three percentage points from one month prior.
The HPSI is derived from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey® (NHS).
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