Fannie Mae said its September National Housing Survey noted a rebound in consumer housing optimism after a dip was recorded in August.  Most indicators have returned to the modestly positive trend the survey had recorded throughout the early part of the year.  Fannie Mae said it was probably the turbulent world political situation that weighed down American attitudes toward the housing market over the past two months.

After dropping by 3 percentage points in August the share of survey respondents who said it is a good time to buy a house rose 4 points in September to 68 percent and the share who said they would prefer to buy a home for their next move ticked back up to 66 percent after a three point drop.  Those who think it is a good time to sell eased up 1 point to 39 percent.

There was a bit more optimism about housing prices as well.  Forty-five percent of respondents now expect further price hikes over the next 12 months compared to 42 percent in August.  The scale of the expected increase however has been fairly consistent over the last three or four months.



Expectations about mortgage rates have experienced a bit of a sea change in the last two months.  In July 54 percent of respondents thought rates would increase; that dropped to 50 percent in August and another 5 percentage points in the current survey.  This recent sharp drop is on top of a slower downward trend that brought the share of those expecting higher rates down from the 63 percent level in September 2013.



When it comes to rentals a growing majority of Americans think rental prices will increase over the next 12 months, going from 53 to 55 percent from August September, but the expected scale of any increases plunged, down 9 basis points in a month, to 3.2 percent.

The results also show a notable jump in consumers' views toward the economy, with 40 percent of those surveyed saying it is now on the right track - a five percentage point increase from last month while wrong track number fell by 2 points to 54 percent.

The responses to questions about personal financial situations remain little changed over the last year; Americans appear to have not experienced many changes to their household income nor to their expenses.  Further a consistent number continue to anticipate few changes in that financial situation over the upcoming 12 months.



"The September National Housing Survey shows a slight recovery in consumer housing sentiment after a two-month setback, bringing us back to the modestly positive trend we've seen over the last year," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "It might be too late to save this year's home sales from posting the first decline in five years. However, the return to an upward trend in housing sentiment, combined with this month's positive news on the jobs front, suggests that a broad-based, albeit measured, housing recovery is on track to resume in 2015. The results of the past few months show that consumer optimism remains cautious and somewhat volatile, and we'll likely continue to see bumps on the housing recovery path reflected in our survey results."

The National Housing Survey is conducted by phone among a panel of 1,000 respondents, both homeowners and renters.  Each is asked a series of 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.