WASHINGTON – Jan. 7, 2014 – Year-over-year gains in Americans’ attitudes toward homeownership show that the housing recovery continues to move forward on firm footing, despite a drop in housing sentiment during the fall, according to Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey results.
Almost half (49 percent) of consumers surveyed believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months, compared to 43 percent in December 2012; and they expect home prices to rise 3.2 percent, compared to 2.6 percent last year.
Those who say it’s a good time to sell a home rose significantly to 33 percent from 21 percent in December 2012. And, despite higher mortgage rates, consumers are more optimistic about their access to mortgage credit than they were a year ago and half (50 percent) say it would be easy to get a home mortgage today compared to 45 percent last year.
“The marked improvement in housing market sentiment over the course of 2013 bore out our view going into the year that the housing recovery was on a firm footing,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Year-over-year gains in home price expectations and attitudes about the current selling environment were particularly notable” and “consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage today are at their highest level in the survey’s three-and-a-half-year history.”
Homeownership and renting
• The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased slightly to 57 percent.
• Those who say it is a good time to buy a house increased from last month, up three percentage points to 67 percent.
• The average 12-month rental price change expectation increased from last month to 3.8 percent.
• Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said home rental prices would go up in the next 12 months, a three-percentage point increase over last month.
• The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move fell slightly to 66 percent.
Economy and household finances
• The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track fell slightly from last month to 31 percent, remaining low compared to earlier in the year.
• The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better in the next 12 months increased four percentage points to 42 percent.
• The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased slightly to 23 percent.
• The share of respondents (30 percent) who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago fell three percentage points from last month.
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