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Americans Still Wary of Housing Markets

By Mike Wheatley | August 11, 2014

Attitudes toward the housing market remain mixed, with home price expectations moderating and concerns about the economy making them more cautious, according to Fannie Mae’s July 2014 National Housing Survey, a survey of about 1,000 Americans’ views on housing.


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"The continued cautious sentiment expressed across the range of consumer indicators this month gives weight to our view that the first phase of the housing recovery is decelerating, and 2014 will be a year of mixed housing outcomes with home prices rising more slowly and home sales falling slightly," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

"We have always believed that for the housing recovery to be considered robust, we will need strong and sustained full-time job and income growth. Recent data indicating the creation of more than 200,000 jobs over each of the last six months, combined with this month's improvement in the share of consumers reporting significantly higher household income than a year ago, does provide some reason for optimism. If these trends continue, they could lead to some upside in housing in 2015."

For now, however, Americans are taking a more cautious view of the market. The percentage of Americans who believe home prices will rise in the next year has fallen to 42 percent. Also, consumers’ attitudes about the direction of the overall economy are growing more negative.

That said, the gap is gradually narrowing between the number of consumers who say now is a good time to buy a home (67 percent) versus those who say it’s a good time to sell (43 percent), which indicates a better balance of supply and demand, according to the report.

Also, the share of consumers who say their home has risen in value since they purchased it has soared to an all-time survey high, another positive indicator for the market, the report notes.

Additional highlights from the survey include:

  • Half of respondents said they thought it would be difficult for them to get a home mortgage today.
  • The average 12-month home price change expectation dropped to 2.3 percent.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation fell to 3.8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago rose by 4 percentage point to 28 percent—a survey high.
Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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