That the pandemic is worse today
than it was last spring appears to be finally dawning on a lot of consumers and
the Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) for December reflects it. Fannie Mae
says its index, based on six questions from its monthly National Housing
Survey, dropped 6.0 points to 74.0. Five of the components moved lower and the
sixth was unchanged from the prior month. It was the second month in a row that
the index declined, and it is now 17.7 points lower than one year ago.
Positive responses dropped for the
question of whether it is currently a good time to buy a home. Fifty-two
percent of respondents said it was, down from 57 percent in November, while the
percentage who say it is a bad time increased from 35 percent to 39 percent. As
a result, the net share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy decreased
9 percentage points month over month to 13 percent. A year ago, the net for
that question was 27 percent.
There were fewer respondents who felt
it was a good time to sell as well, down from 59 percent to 50 percent. The
percentage who say it’s a bad time to sell increased from 33 percent to 42
percent, pushing the net down 18 percentage points for the month and 35 points
year-over-year to 8 percent.