WASHINGTON, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of Americans now expect the country's home prices to climb within the next year, illustrating a growing optimism toward the health of the housing industry. The share of respondents to Fannie Mae's April 2013 National Housing Survey results who expect home prices to go up rose another 3 percentage points in April to 51 percent. By comparison, at the same time last year only 32 percent expected an increase in home prices.
"For the first time in the survey's three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Crossing the 50 percent threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country. Reflecting that increased optimism toward housing, the share of Americans who think it is a good time to sell has doubled during the last year. Many homeowners who have been underwater are gradually returning to positive equity, and selling is now becoming an available and attractive option again."
The share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell climbed 4 percentage points in April to 30 percent, compared to 15 percent at the same time last year. Americans' increasing optimism toward the selling market may bode well for continued improvement in housing activity, as recent market data suggest that five out of eight people who buy a home first have to sell.
SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS Homeownership and Renting
- The average 12-month home price change expectation held steady at 2.7 percent.
- The share of people who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months hit a survey high of 51 percent, while those you believe home prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10 percent for the fourth month in a row.
- The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up fell 3 percentage points to 43 percent, while those who say they will go down increased slightly to 7 percent.
- At a survey-high 30 percent, the share of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a house increased 4 percentage points over March.
- The average 12-month rental price change expectation held steady at 4.1 percent.
- Forty-eight percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next year, a 2 percentage point decrease from last month's survey high.
- The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move increased slightly to 65 percent.
- At 39 percent, the share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased 4 percentage points over March.
- The percentage of people who expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months fell 5 percentage points to 16 percent.
- Twenty percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, holding steady from last month.
- Eleven percent reported significantly lower household expenses compared to 12 months ago, a 3 percentage point increase over March.