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October 20, 2014

Americans' Divergent Views on Housing, Mortgages

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Americans' Divergent Views on Housing, Mortgages

More Americans expect home prices to increase in the coming months, according to Fannie Mae’s February 2014 National Housing Survey.

Fifty percent of the survey's 1,000 respondents say that they believe home prices will go up in the next year, a 7 percent increase compared to January’s survey. They say they expect the average 12-month home price change to be 3.2 percent.

What’s more, the number of respondents who say it is a good time to buy increased 3 percentage points to 68 percent in February.

While some gauges are rising, Americans are also expressing some concerns about the housing market. The number of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a mortgage dropped 7 percentage points from January’s high of 52 percent. Also, more respondents say they think the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

“We’ve seen a corresponding increase in volatility in our survey results, particularly for home-price expectations and perceptions about the ease of getting a mortgage,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Weather may have played a role, as suggested by a 6 percentage-point jump over the past two months in the share of consumers who say their household expenses are significantly higher than a year ago. This response would be consistent with higher home heating costs. Despite the volatile month-to-month changes, we believe that the housing recovery is continuing, but is not yet robust.”

Source: Fannie Mae

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Consumers' Caution Could Spell Danger for Housing