Housing Recovery Remains on Firm Footing as Americans’ Housing Sentiment Bounces Back From an Autumn Dip

January 07, 2014

Pete Bakel

WASHINGTON, DC – Year-over-year gains in Americans’ attitudes toward homeownership demonstrate that the housing recovery continues to move forward on firm footing despite a drop in housing sentiment during the fall, according to Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey results. Forty-nine percent of consumers surveyed believe home prices will go up over the next 12 months, compared to 43 percent in December 2012. Consumers’ average 12-month home prices expectations moved to 3.2 percent, up from 2.6 percent last year. Those who say it’s a good time to sell a home rose significantly to 33 percent from 21 percent in December 2012. And, despite a higher mortgage interest rate environment, consumers are more optimistic about their access to mortgage credit than they were a year ago, with those who say that it would be easy to get a home mortgage today rising to 50 percent, compared to 45 percent last year.

“The marked improvement in housing market sentiment over the course of 2013 bore out our view going into the year that the housing recovery was on a firm footing. Year-over-year gains in home price expectations and attitudes about the current selling environment were particularly notable,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Going into 2014, housing attitudes are recovering from a recent dip that coincided with the heated fiscal discussions between the Administration and Congress late last year. Consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage today are at their highest level in the survey’s three-and-a-half-year history, which should help offset the current higher interest rate environment and support a continued but measured housing recovery as we move through 2014.”

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