Housing Sentiment Reaches New High: Survey

Consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage today are at their highest level in more than three years, a Fannie Mae monthly housing survey revealed.

Despite mortgage interest rates being on the rise recently, half of the 1,005 Americans polled for this survey have greater optimism in accessing mortgage credit to acquire a home now compared to a year ago when the mark was 45%. The December tally is the highest level since Fannie Mae began tracking consumer’s attitudinal shifts for the housing industry and general economy on a monthly basis back in June 2010.

Meanwhile, 49% of consumers surveyed believe home prices will go up over the next year, compared to 43% in December 2012. Overall, the average 12-month home value expectations moved to 3.2%, up from 2.6% a year ago.

Rising home prices leads consumers to think it is now a better time to sell their property, with this question seeing a 12 percentage point increase year-over-year up to 33%.

Conversely, those who say it is a good time to buy a house rose three percentage points to 67% from the previous month.

About two-thirds of respondents said they would buy if they were planning to move. For possible renters, the average 12-month rental price change expectation increased in December from November to 3.8%, with 53% of those surveyed saying rental values will continue to go up over the course of 2014.

“The marked improvement in housing market sentiment over the course of 2013 bore out our view going into the year that the housing recovery was on a firm footing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“These consumer attitudes should support a continued but measured housing recovery as we move through 2014.”

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