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Consumers' Positive Housing Attitudes Withstand Fiscal Concerns





WASHINGTON, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer confidence in the housing recovery remains firm in the face of budget sequestration and other fiscal policy concerns, according to Fannie Mae's March 2013 National Housing Survey results. Although more Americans indicate greater pessimism regarding their personal finances and the economy, they continue to demonstrate optimism across key housing market measures. The share of consumers who believe home prices will go up in the next year held steady at 48 percent, the all-time survey high. Also reaching a survey high, 26 percent of respondents believe now is a good time to sell a home – nearly twice the share compared to the same time last year.

"Despite an uptick in concern expressed about the direction of the economy, it appears consumers believe that the housing recovery will march on," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Housing sentiment remains unshaken from the highs of the last few months. At the same time, perhaps driven by the experience of the past several years, consumers remain cautious in their housing outlook. While the survey shows a string of 17 positive one-year-ahead home price expectations through March, the average expected gains have remained below 3 percent. By comparison, main measures of national home prices in early 2013 posted year-over-year gains of at least double or triple that figure."

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation fell slightly from last month's survey high to 2.7 percent.
  • At 48 percent, the share of respondents who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months held steady at the survey high, while the share who believe home prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who think mortgage rates will go up increased to 46 percent, the highest level since May 2011, while those who think they will go down dipped slightly to 6 percent.
  • Twenty-six percent of respondents say it is a good time to sell a house, up 1 percentage point over February and the highest level since the survey's inception in June 2010.
  • At 4.1 percent, the average 12-month rental price change expectation increased 0.2 percent over February.
  • Fifty percent of those surveyed say home prices will go up in the next 12 months, holding steady at the highest level since the survey's inception for the third straight month.
  • The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move fell 3 percentage points to 64 percent.




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