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Majority of Americans Expect Home Prices to Increase

by Peter Thomas Ricci

American consumers are growing more and more confident with the housing recovery, according to Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey.

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More than half of American consumers expect home prices to rise within the next year, according to the latest National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae.

The Survey, which asks more than 1,000 consumers various questions about the housing market and greater U.S. economy, had been tracking a growing optimism among consumers towards housing, but Fannie’s latest finding – for perspective’s sake, just 32 percent of respondents in last year’s survey expected home prices to increase – is by far the most encouraging.

National Housing Survey – Documenting a Housing Recovery

Doug Duncan, the senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie, said the survey’s findings on home-price sentiment are significant for a number of reasons.

“For the first time in the survey’s three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase,” Duncan said. “Crossing the 50 percent threshold marks a significant milestone, as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country.”

Tom Krettler, a broker associate with RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest in Chicagoland’s Northwest suburbs, said that things are definitely improving here in Chicago, albeit in a steady manner.

“I don’t think we’re in a robust recovery, but we’re positive,” Krettler said, who immediate past-president of MORe. “People have a steady confidence; it’s not an over-exuberant confidence, but a solid, steady confidence.”

Other key signs in the National Housing Survey were:

  • For the fourth straight month, only 10 percent of respondents expect home pries to fall in the next year.
  • Consumers remain bullish on interest rates, with 43 percent expecting rates to rise; though that’s down 3 percentage points from last month, it remains far ahead of consumers who think rates will fall; only 7 percent see that happening.
  • Homebuying remains the preferred living arrangement among consumers planning to move, with 65 percent saying they’d rather own than rent.
  • Also, consumers are less expectant of rent increases; 48 percent expect rent prices to rise, a 2-percentage point drop.

A Sign of Inventory Relief?

One facet of the survey that we should draw particular attention to dealt with home sellers. In the survey, 30 percent of respondents reported that now was a good time to sell; that’s up 4 percentage points from March, and represents an all-time survey high.

Normally, this would be nothing more than a nice increase in seller activity, but as any agent in their right mind knows, our respective housing market has been grappling with some of the lowest levels of housing inventory in years; but, if more consumers are seeing the current housing market as one beneficial to sellers, there’s a good chance we may see the inventory situation change.

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