Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fannie Mae: Optimism on Homeownership Improves in June

Americans’ attitudes towards the housing market are continuing to improve, despite stalling optimism about the economy and personal finances, according to a monthly survey by Fannie Mae.
The mortgage-finance company’s survey of 1,001 Americans last month found that 73% believe it is a good time to buy a home, edging up from 72% of the respondents in May. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said it is a good time to sell remained at 15%.
“Although this positive trend may be short-lived if the general economy falters, one might ask whether consumers are increasingly seeing the current environment as a unique opportunity to buy a home while home prices remain depressed, rental costs are increasing, and interest rates are near historic lows,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said.
The company said 37% expect home-mortgage rates to rise over the next year, a decrease from the prior month when 41% thought so. Meanwhile, 35% think home prices will go up in the next 12 months, the highest level since the survey’s inception.
Consumers predict, on average, that home prices will increase 2% over the next 12 months, up from 1.4% in May.
The percentage of respondents who said they would buy rose to 69% from 63% in May–also the highest level since the survey began–while respondents who said they would rent if they were going to move decreased to 27% from 32%, the lowest level recorded since the survey began.

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