Fannie Mae's February 2013 National Housing Survey showed that 48% of the more than 1,000 US residents polled believe that home prices are set to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just 10% who predict prices to slide down even further. The survey is one of the clearest signs of optimism in the housing recovery yet seen among American consumers, although sadly this doesn't extend to the rest of the economy, which most believe is unlikely to improve much over the next year.
According to Doug Dunca, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, sentiments towards housing are very robust and slowly gathering strength:
"We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, gradually reducing the population of underwater borrowers and helping to boost the share of consumers who say that now is a good time to sell."
Even now, 25% of homeowners stated that they believe the time is right to sell a home - the highest level since the survey began back in 2010 - while almost 67% of respondents said that they would likely buy instead of rent if they were to move right now.
These are all good indicators, but this optimism isn't reflected in people's opinion of the economy and their household finances at large. According to the survey, only 38% of respondents believe that the economy is on the right track, while just 41% expect their personal financial situation to imporve in the next 12 months - down from 43% the previous month. Moreover, just 21% of respondents stated that their household income was significantly higher now than it was 12 months ago, down from 23% who said the same thing last month.
For a more extensive look at the February 2013 National Housing Survey, visit the official housing survey section over at Fannie Mae.