Latest Fannie Mae Housing Survey Says: Good Time to Sell

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Consumer attitudes toward housing and the
economy in general continued the slow improvement that has become the norm according
to results from the October National Housing Survey.  Fannie Mae which sponsors the survey said the
share of respondent households voicing confidence that their personal financial
situation would improve over the next 12 months climbed to 45 percent.  This was only a one point gain from the
September survey but was seven points higher than one year ago and the highest
it has been since June 2013.  At the same
time the percentage of those who expected personal finances would worsen over
that time frame dropped 2 points to 10 percent compared to 22 percent in
October 2013. 

Those who say it is a good time to
buy
a house fell three points to 65 percent but those who view it as a good time
to sell a home increased to 44 percent-a new all-time survey high.  It was also the narrowest the gap has been
between the two indicators since Fannie Mae began the survey in June 2010.

The share of respondents who say
home prices will go up in the next 12 months eased back one point to 44
percent, staying within the narrow mid-40’s range where the response has
floated since June.  The share who say
home prices will go down decreased by one point to 7 percent.   Among those who expect home prices to rise
the average expectation for that increase over the next 12 months was 2.8
percent compared to 2.2 percent in September.

In September the share of those
expecting higher mortgages
rates dropped by five percentage points while the
share expecting rates to stabilize rose 5, each response representing 45
percent of respondents. The optimism was short lived and in October 48 percent
expected rates to rise while 38 percent thought they would stay the same.  Half of respondents said they thought it
would be difficult for them to even get a mortgage today, a 2 percentage point
increase from September.

 

 

The percentage of respondents who
expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months decreased by six percentage
points to 49 percent while the average expectation for rental increases rose to
3.7 percent. 

When asked their choice if they were
to move 65 percent said they would buy their next home, down one point from the
previous survey while 30 percent said they would rent, a 2 point increase.  One year ago 70 percent of respondents
indicated a preference for home ownership. 

Forty percent of respondents said
the economy was on the right track, unchanged from the previous survey, while 53
percent say it is on the wrong track, a one point decline.  In October 2013 the wrong track answer was
given by 67 percent and the right track by 27 percent.

“Consumers are growing more
optimistic about the housing market
in the face of broader improvement in
economic sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief
economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who expect their personal
finances to get better is near its highest level since the survey’s inception,
while those expecting their finances to get worse reached a survey low. Home
price expectations rose significantly this month, largely reversing the dip
witnessed over the past four months, and the share of consumers who think it’s
a good time to sell a home reached another survey high. The narrowing gap
between home buying and home selling sentiment may foreshadow increased housing
inventory levels and a better balance of housing supply and demand. These
results may help drive a healthier housing market in 2015.”

The Fannie Mae National Housing
Survey polls 1,000 Americans, both homeowners and renters, by phone.  Respondents are asked over 100 questions
about owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, their personal
financial situation, and homeownership and the economy in general.  For the current survey the cell phone dialing
rate was increased to 60 percent to reflect the growing share of households
without a landline.  The October survey
was conducted between October 1 and October 25, 2014.

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