The majority of data from the January
Fannie Mae National Housing Survey released today indicates that Americans are
increasingly confident in the trajectory of both the economy and the housing
market. The percent of survey respondents who think it is a good time to sell a home
continued to climb; reaching 23 percent last month compared to 11 percent the
same time last year. The percentage who
thinks it is a good time to buy has inched down 2 percentage points to 69 over
the last three months.
Only 10 percent
of respondents expect home prices to decline further compared to 11 percent in
December while 41 percent expect price increases in the next 12 months and 45 percent
expect no changes. The average 12-month home price
change expectation fell slightly from last month's survey high to 2.4 percent. The percentage of those surveyed who
think mortgage rates will go up decreased by 3 percentage points to 41 percent,
while those who think they will go down dipped slightly to 7 percent.
Half of the respondents expect rental
prices to increase over the next year, up two points from December while 40
percent think they will drop, a two point decrease. Each of these responses had a 45 percent share
in January 2011. The dimensions of
expected rental hikes have dropped from an average of 4.6 percent increase in
December to 3.7 percent in January.
Rising and falling home prices, interest
rates, and rents seem to have little effect on the decision to buy or
rent. Over the past year the percentage
of homeowners who said they would buy or they would rent should they move has
remained almost flat and are now at 65 percent and 30 percent respectively.
"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," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie
Mae. "Concerns about job loss are waning as payrolls are growing - a trend that
may give potential homebuyers more confidence that they can meet the financial
obligation of homeownership. 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."
to the perennial question as to whether the economy is on the right or the
wrong track continue to narrow with wrong track answers now at 53 percent
compared to 54 percent in December and 61 percent in January 2011. Right Track responses which peaked at 45
percent in October before dropping sharply in November are now at 39 percent up
one percentage point from December and nine from one year earlier.
percentage of respondents who said they expected their personal financial
situation to improve over the next 12 months increased by 3 points to 43
percent but has remained essentially unchanged over the last year. Nineteen percent expect deterioration their
percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than
it was 12 months ago, holding steady from last month, while 38 percent reported
significantly higher household expenses. the highest level since December 2011. The percentage who are concerned
they will lose their job in the next 12 months declined 1 percentage point to
19 percent, a survey low.
The National Housing Survey polls
about 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview each month, asking more than
100 questions to assess their attitudes
toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership
distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. The survey sample includes homeowners both
with and without mortgages and renters.
Fannie Mae has conducted the survey since June 2010.
You can view the full survey here.