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Fannie Mae Index Reveals Consumers’ Homebuying Sentiment, Helps Forecast Housing Markets

Jun 13 2016

For insights about consumers’ general attitudes and intentions about the broader economy, many industry experts have traditionally relied on measures of consumer sentiment. The two best-known and most widely used measures are the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index.

The years since the Great Recession have featured volatility in the broader economy and housing markets. To help make sense of this volatility, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group determined that it would be valuable to develop a single, easy-to-understand measure of consumers’ sentiment specifically about housing that would be more valuable for housing insights and forecasts than the broader consumer sentiment measures. This is especially important as the broader economy and the housing economy do not always move in lockstep.

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