With a gradual increase in consumer confidence and positive economic indicators in general, those who have been putting off a home purchase due to market conditions should seriously consider moving into action. According to the recently released May 2012 National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae, consumer attitudes are slowly—but significantly—pointing toward an overall housing market recovery.
The following statistics from the National Housing Survey indicate an increasing need for homebuyers to get serious about their home search:
- On average, Americans expect home prices to increase by 1.4 percent over the next 12 months, up 0.5 percentage points since March 2012 and the highest value yet recorded.
- 34 percent of respondents say that home prices will go up in the next 12 months, the highest level recorded since March 2011.
- 41 percent of respondents expect home mortgage rates to go up in the next 12 months, a slight increase from last month.
- The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy increased by 1 percentage point to 72 percent, while the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell remained at 15 percent.
- On average, respondents expect home rental prices to increase by 4.1 percent over the next 12 months, a 0.5 percentage point increase versus last month and a return to the level seen in March.
- 49 percent of respondents think that home rental prices will go up, consistent with last month’s value and remaining the highest number recorded to date.
- At 32 percent, the percentage of respondents who would rent if they were going to move is unchanged, while 63 percent would buy.
Additionally, while 46 percent of respondents expect their financial situation to remain the same over the next 12 months, 38 percent believe the economy is on the right track—this marks an all-time high.
This research bodes well for a continued housing-market recovery; however, it means the unparalleled opportunities for buyers will soon start to level off as we move toward a more balanced buying and selling environment.
If you’ve delayed moving up to a larger or more desirable home because you’ve been hesitant to put your home on the market, conditions have improved for home sellers in many locations. If you’ve been renting in an effort to “wait things out,” bear in mind that rents are expected to continue their upward climb as landlords cash in on residential real estate’s decline. In fact, in many cases, it is now more affordable to buy a home than to rent one.
Talk to a professional real estate expert to identify specific conditions in the neighborhoods in which you might like to buy a home This information will allow you to establish a home-buying timeline that will ensure you don’t miss out on the current market advantages for homebuyers.