Year-over-year gains in Americans' attitudes toward homeownership demonstrate that the housing recovery continues to move forward on firm footing, despite a drop in housing sentiment during the fall, according to Fannie Mae's December National Housing Survey results.
Fannie Mae reports that 49% of consumers surveyed believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months, compared to 43% in December 2012. Consumers' average 12-month home prices expectations moved to 3.2% – up from 2.6% last year. Those who say it's a good time to sell a home rose significantly to 33%, from 21% in December 2012.
And despite a higher mortgage interest rate environment, consumers are more optimistic about their access to mortgage credit than they were a year ago, with those who say that it would be easy to get a home mortgage today rising to 50%, compared to 45% the year prior, according to the survey.
‘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," comments Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae. "Year-over-year gains in home price expectations and attitudes about the current selling environment were particularly notable."
Fannie Mae also reports the following highlights from the survey:
Homeownership and Renting
-At 3.2%, the average 12-month home price change expectation increased since last month.
-The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased to 49%.
-The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased slightly to 57%.
-Those who say it is a good time to buy a house increased from last month – up three percentage points to 67%.
-The average 12-month rental price change expectation increased from last month to 3.8%.
-Of those surveyed, 53% said home rental prices will go up in the next 12 months – a three percentage point increase over last month.
-The share of respondents who thought it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today was at 50%, holding steady from last month.
-The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move fell slightly to 66%.
The Economy and Household Finances
-The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track fell slightly from last month to 31%, remaining low compared to earlier in the year.
-The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better in the next 12 months increased four percentage points to 42%.
-The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased slightly to 23%.
-At 30%, the share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago fell three percentage points from last month.
"Consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage today are at their highest level in the survey's three-and-a-half-year history, which should help offset the current higher interest rate environment and support a continued but measured housing recovery as we move through 2014," Duncan concludes.