44 percent of Americans remain optimistic that home prices will rise in the next 12 months, while the share who say home prices will drop is down to 6 percent, the survey found.
The gap between those who say it’s a good time to buy a home and those who say it’s a good time to sell is growing larger. Sixty-eight percent of Americans say now is the time to buy, a month-over-month rise of 3 percentage points, according to Fannie Mae’s November 2014 National Housing Survey of 1,000 respondents. On the other hand, the number of Americans who say it’s a good time to sell fell 5 percentage points to 39 percent.
Fannie’s latest survey results “support the 2014 trend of gradual — but often sporadic and unspectacular — improvement across a range of indicators measuring consumer attitudes toward housing,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “This mirrors the uneven recovery in housing activity this year.”
Here’s one of the most encouraging signs for the housing market’s future: Consumers’ personal financial outlook is improving. Forty-six percent of Americans say they expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next 12 months. That’s close to the survey’s all-time high.
“We expect consumer attitudes toward housing to improve as the pickup in the overall economy lifts employment and income prospects,” Duncan says. “However, a sustained improvement in sentiment that could support a robust housing recovery, as policy support is removed, will require meaningful gains in household income. While such gains have so far been elusive, the strength in the November jobs report, which points to faster growth in labor income in the current quarter, marks a good start.”
Also, among the survey’s findings:
- 45 percent of respondents say they believe mortgage rates will rise in the next 12 months (a drop of 3 percentage points from the previous month);
- 53 percent say they expect rental prices to rise in the next 12 months (a rise of 4 percentage points from last month);
- 62 percent say they would buy a home if they were going to move, while the share who say they’d rent rose to 31 percent;
- 25 percent say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago (the same as last month);
- 36 percent say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago (the same as last month).
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Source: Fannie Mae