Fannie Mae: Americans More Optimistic About Housing Market

Americans have a more positive outlook on the housing market and more than a third expect home prices to go up next year, the highest level of optimism since Fannie Mae started its monthly  surveys in June 2010.
Bolstered by record-low mortgage rates throughout the summer, consumer attitudes about the economy also improved substantially last month, reversing a trend of waning confidence seen during much of this year, Fannie Mae said.
Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed expect home prices to go up over the next 12 months.
Survey respondents expect home prices to increase an average of 1.5 percent in the next year. The share of those who say mortgage rates will increase in the next 12 months dropped 7 percentage points to 33 percent.
“Consumers are showing increasing faith in the nascent housing recovery,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Home price change expectations have remained positive for 11 straight months, and the share expecting home price declines has stabilized at a survey low of only 11 percent.”
Nineteen percent of those surveyed say now is a good time to sell, marking the highest level since the survey began in June 2010.
Regarding the economy overall, 41 percent of consumers now believe the economy is on the right track, up from 33 percent last month, while 53 percent believe the economy is on the wrong track, compared with 60 percent the prior month.
Both the right track and wrong track figures mark the highest and the lowest readings, respectively, since Fannie Mae’s survey began in June 2010.
Here are other highlights from the survey:
• Nineteen percent of respondents say it is a good time to sell, the highest level since the survey’s inception.
• Those who say now is a good time to buy dipped slightly to 72 percent.
• The percentage of respondents who say they would buy if they were going to move increased to 69 percent, tying June 2012 at the highest level since the survey’s inception.
• Forty-four percent of respondents expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year, up from 42 percent in August.
• The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased by 3 percentage points to 17 percent.

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