Most Americans believe the housing market has reached bottom, but they are more cautious about owning a home, according to the findings of Fannie Mae's latest National Housing Survey.
Seventy percent of respondents think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64% in a similar survey conducted in January. But 33% – up from 30% – of all respondents said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move.
‘These findings indicate a return to a more balanced and realistic approach toward housing,’ says Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae. ‘While this will likely weigh on the housing recovery in the near term, it should, over time, help to build a stronger and healthier market focused on sustainable homeownership.’
A majority of Americans (67%) continue to believe that housing is a safe investment; however, that number is down 16 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2003 – the largest drop by far among all investment types tracked since then, Fannie Mae explains.
Delinquent borrowers and renters are notably more discouraged than mortgage borrowers and underwater borrowers about a home's safety as an investment and the appeal of buying versus renting. More than 70% of all respondents believe it will be harder for the next generation to buy a home.
In total, 47% of respondents said home prices will hold steady over the next year, and 31% said prices will increase. By comparison, 46% of respondents said rental prices will stay the same, and 39% said rental prices will go up over the next 12 months.
SOURCE: Fannie Mae