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The Home Purchase Sentiment Index: A New Housing Indicator

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  • James A Wilcox

Abstract

We built a home purchase sentiment index (HPSI) with consumers’ responses to questions about home buying and selling conditions, income gains and job concerns, and house price and mortgage rate expectations. The HPSI can help forecast mortgage originations and house prices, sales, and starts. Forecasting horse races during 2012–14 show the HPSI handily outperformed other sentiment indices. We show differences in the HPSI by income and by age groups. We also suggest other aspects of housing where survey-based indicators may help, such as demand by millennials or seniors, home owners’ moving, renters’ intentions, and mortgage refinancing, delinquency, or default rates.

Suggested Citation

  • James A Wilcox, 2015. "The Home Purchase Sentiment Index: A New Housing Indicator," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 50(4), pages 178-190, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:50:y:2015:i:4:p:178-190
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nguyen, Viet Hoang & Claus, Edda, 2013. "Good news, bad news, consumer sentiment and consumption behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 426-438.
    2. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
    3. Jason Bram & Sydney Ludvigson, 1998. "Does consumer confidence forecast household expenditure? a sentiment index horse race," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 59-78.
    4. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1343-1377, June.
    5. Batchelor, Roy & Dua, Pami, 1998. "Improving macro-economic forecasts: The role of consumer confidence," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-81, March.
    6. Ho, Chienwei & Hung, Chi-Hsiou, 2009. "Investor sentiment as conditioning information in asset pricing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 892-903, May.
    7. Michael Lemmon & Evgenia Portniaguina, 2006. "Consumer Confidence and Asset Prices: Some Empirical Evidence," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 1499-1529.
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