Despite continued uncertainty about the economy, Americans are showing increased confidence in the housing market and the direction of the economy, according to Fannie Mae’s November 2012 National Housing Survey.
The survey polled 1,001 Americans in live telephone interviews to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.
“Consumer attitudes toward both the economy and the housing market continue to gather momentum, with many of our 11 key National Housing Survey indicators at or near their two-and-a-half-year highs,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
Duncan reported that attitudes about the current selling environment continue to improve with a significant increase in those saying it would be a good time to sell. This growing confidence in a housing recovery, in addition to other factors, may reinforce consumer optimism regarding an improving general economy.
“Those indicating that the economy is on the right track rose to 44 percent, while those saying it is on the wrong track have fallen to 50 percent, the smallest gap since the survey’s inception,” Duncan said.
Survey results showed significant movement across many indicators. The share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell a home jumped 5 percent in November to 23 percent, the highest level since the survey began in June 2010, narrowing the gap with those who say it is a good time to buy.
The percentages of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up have increased by 4 points to 41 percent. Those expecting home prices to go down within the next year also rose by 4 percentage points to 14 percent over the previous month, a rebound from the survey’s record low in the prior month, while the share who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months edged up to 37 percent, tying the survey’s high.
Notably, 51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage, marking the highest rate since the survey’s inception.
When asked about the economy, those who say it is on the wrong track dipped 6 percent since October 2012 and a total of 25 percent in the past year.
Fannie Mae is a provider of mortgage credit in the United States. It guarantees and purchases loans so families can buy homes, refinance existing mortgages or access affordable rental housing.