More Consumers Show Optimism Toward Housing Market: Fannie

Mortgage & Real Estate

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Consumer optimism toward the housing market grew in January, a sign that the improving economy has warmed consumers to the prospect of purchasing a home, according to survey results released Monday by Fannie Mae.

The number of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home rose three percentage points to 67%, according to the results of Fannie Mae’s January 2015 National Housing Survey. The share of consumers who believe now is a good time to sell a home similarly increased to 44%, tying an all-time survey high.

Consumers’ positivity toward their personal finances spilled over into the housing market and helped to drive the increases, said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

In another all-time survey high, 48% of survey-takers said they expect their personal finance situation to improve in the next year. And for 44% of respondents, the economy is on the right track, up three percentage points from December.

“Consumers are as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010,” Duncan said in a statement.

The January data saw more people looking to buy a home than rent — 66% of those surveyed said they would buy if they moved, while the share of those who said they would rent dropped five percentage points to 29%. This bucked the three-month trend where the number of people looking to rent increased.

On the mortgage side, respondents’ optimism abated some. The share of people who thought it would be easy to get a mortgage fell to 50% in January.

Fannie Mae has polled 1,000 Americans by phone each month for its National Housing Survey since June 2010 to track attitudes toward homeownership and the economy.

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