Consumers’ Positive Housing Attitudes Withstand Fiscal Concerns

2 min read

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.

Washington, D.C.—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.

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.

The economy and household finances

  • At 35 percent, the share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track decreased 3 percentage points from February.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months rose by 4 percentage points to 21 percent.
  • Twenty percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, a slight decrease from last month.
  • Thirty-two percent reported significantly higher household expenses compared to 12 months ago, a slight increase over February.

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,004 Americans via live telephone interview 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. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.

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