Consumers had a slightly more positive view of the U.S. housing industry in January, as shown by Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which increased by two percentage points to reach a score of 82.7.
It was the first time in five months that the index increased.
Helping to drive the increase was a seven-percentage-point boost in the net share of Americans who believe that home prices will go up in the next 12 months.
In addition, the net share of Americans reporting significantly higher household income in the previous 12 months also increased by five percentage points.
The net percentage of those who say now is a good time to sell a house increased by two percentage points.
However, the net share of those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell by three percentage points.
The net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their jobs rose one percentage point to reach 69%.
The net share of those who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months was flat as compared with December at -55%.
“Three months after the presidential election, measures of consumer optimism regarding personal financial prospects and the economy are at or near the highest levels we’ve seen in the nearly seven-year history of the National Housing Survey,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “However, any significant acceleration in housing activity will depend on whether consumers’ favorable expectations are realized in the form of income gains sufficient to offset constrained housing affordability. If consumers’ anticipation of further increases in home prices and mortgage rates materialize over the next 12 months, then we may see housing affordability tighten even more.”