Fannie Mae: ‘Things are looking up for housing’

This article was originally published on Florida

WASHINGTON โ€“ Americans' attitudes about the housing market are strengthening, according to Fannie Mae's May 2015 National Housing Survey, a survey of about 1,000 consumers on their views about homeownership. The survey results echo recent forecasts that predict a pickup in housing activity for the year.

In the latest survey, more consumers reported an increase in household income, nearing an all-time survey high. The growth in wages falls in line with the recent positive jobs reports that show an increase in average hourly earnings. The percentage of consumers surveyed by Fannie Mae who say their household income is “significantly higher” than 12 months ago grew six percentage points to 28 percent over the past two months.

“As job growth appears to be driving meaningful income growth, the outlook for housing market growth also is improving,” according to Fannie Mae's report.

The share of consumers who say it's a good time to sell a home continues to rise, also reaching an all-time survey high in May at 49 percent of respondents โ€“ six percentage points higher year-to-year. In addition, the number of consumers who would prefer to buy rather than rent on their next move rose three percentage points in May to 66 percent.

“Things are looking up for housing,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, noting the survey high for those who say it's a good time to sell, as well as the growing percentage of consumers who say their household income is significantly higher than last year.

“We have found that these two indicators โ€“ good time to sell and income growth โ€“ are key drivers for the performance of the housing market,” Duncan says. “The increase in these indicators suggests our forecast of moderate improvement in the housing market in 2015 is on course and mirrors the near-term performance of other leading market data, including mortgage applications and pending home sales.”

The survey also found:

  • Consumers say they believe home prices will rise by 2.8 percent, on average, in the next 12 months.
  • The number of respondents who believe mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months dropped to 47 percent.
  • Consumers say they believe rental prices will rise about 4.3 percent in the next 12 months.
  • The percentage of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a home mortgage fell by 2 percentage points to 50 percent, while those who think it would be difficult remained at 46 percent.

Source: Fannie Mae

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