Consumer Pulse - Taking the Pulse of Housing and Inflation Rates | February 29, 2024

The current state:

Existing home sales in January were reported to be at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0 million, which is up 3.1% from December but down 1.7% from January 2023. Although the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is down from a recent high of 7.79% in October, they have been between 6.6% and 6.8% so far this year.


The consumer price index, a key gauge of inflation, was 3.1% in January compared to a year earlier. While lower than the 3.4% rate in December, it was higher than the expected rate of 2.9%. Shelter costs, which are the largest component of the average household’s budget, increased by more than 6% on a 12-month basis.


How we’re feeling right now:

This week’s Consumer Pulse found that 44% of respondents plan on purchasing a home within the next three years. Highlights from this week’s report include:

  • 39% of those planning to buy would feel comfortable doing so now.
  • 61% of respondents with a mortgage say their current interest rate is less than 5%.
  • 69% of prospective buyers who are waiting for rates to drop would feel comfortable buying when they fall below 4%.

These findings would indicate that the housing market may continue to perform at a lackluster level until mortgage rates drop significantly.


Why it matters:

In addition to housing dynamics, this week’s Consumer Pulse report also looks at inflation. We found that only 25% of respondents believe that their income will keep pace with inflation this year. Home improvement brands and retailers are likely looking at another year of homeowners improving in place and taking on smaller projects as they wait for interest and inflation rates to moderate.

Do you want to take the Pulse of your customers? Our Insights team will partner with you to design a study to help you better understand your customers and their problems, and how your brand can win at retail. 

24-SFA-0140-Consumer Pulse #124 - Taking the Pulse of Housing and Inflation Rates


To get additional insight into what this means for brands and retailers, read the entire study.


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