Consumer confidence in the housing market continued to climb in Fannie Mae’s January National Housing Survey, as more and more consumers approved in the direction of the housing recovery.
Most notably, the percentage of survey respondents who thought that now was a good time to sell increased to 23 percent, up from 11 percent at the same time last year.
National Housing Survey – Consumers Confident in Housing
The most detailed survey of its kind, the National Housing Survey for January polled more than 1,000 Americans, assessing their attitudes on housing and the economy. Som key findings included:
- Forty-one percent of those surveyed expect home prices will increase in the next 12 months, with just 10 percent (a survey low) thinking home prices will fall.
- Forty-one percent also think that mortgage rates will go up in 2013, and only 7 percent think rates will do down.
- Homeownership also remained the dominant residency preference among consumers, with 65 percent stating that if they were going to move, they would buy rather than rent.
- And speaking of renting, consumers expect rental prices to increase by 3.7 percent, which, interestingly, is down by 0.9 percentage points from last month’s survey-high 4.6 percent; could this be additional evidence that the rental markets are slowing down?
Doug Duncan – Housing Market ‘Continues to Firm’
In addition to their attitudes on housing, consumers were also more optimistic towards the greater economy, with 39 percent thinking the economy is on the right track (a slight uptick from December) and 43 percent expecting their personal finances to improve, a 3 percentage-point increase from December.
Such confidence, said Doug Duncan, the senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, bodes well for the economy and the housing market.
“The housing market continues to firm, with consumer home price expectations for both rental and ownership properties near the strongest levels that we’ve seen in the survey’s two-and-a-half-year history,” Duncan said. “The upward trend over the past year and a half in the share of consumers who say it’s a good time to sell may reflect two related events. First, homeowners see that home prices are improving. Second, the number of homeowners who are underwater is declining, reducing a barrier for those owners who need to sell their home in order to buy a new one.”