Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff, Americans are showing increased confidence in the housing market and the direction of the economy. According to results from Fannie Mae’s November 2012 National Housing Survey, such improvement bodes especially well for continued strengthening in the housing sector, which in turn should lead to overall economic growth.
According to the survey, the share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell a home jumped 5 percentage points in November to 23 percent – the highest level since the survey began in June 2010. The percentage of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up increased by 4 percentage points to 41 percent. Those expecting home prices to go down within the next year also rose by 4 percentage points to 14 percent over last month, a rebound from the survey’s record low in the prior month, while the share who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months edged up to 37 percent, tying the survey high. Of note, 51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage, marking the highest rate since the survey’s inception.
These survey statistics support the trends that real estate brokers around the country are beginning to witness: an increasing lack of inventory, rising home values, and homebuyers – who have been waiting five years or more – finally ready to purchase their first home or move-up home.
Positive housing indicators are connected to a generally improving outlook regarding the nation’s overall economic picture. When asked about the economy, those who say it is on the wrong track dipped 6 percentage points since October and a total of 25 percentage points in the past year.
Other noteworthy results from the Fannie Mae survey include:
- 48 percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, a slight decrease from last month.
- 51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage.
- 21 percent of respondents say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.
- Household expenses remained stable over the past month, with 56 percent responding that their household expenses stayed the same compared to 12 months ago.