For the first time in six months responses to Fannie Mae’s Monthly National Housing Survey were positive regarding home prices. Respondents surveyed in November expect home prices to increase by 0.2 percent over the next year compared to October’s expectation of a 0.3 percent decline.
Twenty two percent of respondents expect home prices to appreciate over the next year compared to 19 percent who had such expectations in October. Another 19 percent expect prices to decline, down from 23 percent last month, while 53 percent expect prices to remain the same, a 2 point drop.
Respondents, a mixture of homeowners both with and without mortgages and renters, also expect rents to increase, although their estimates of the amount have lessened. Forty-one percent expect prices to rise over the next year and six percent think they will decline, however the average expectation has come down 0.1 percent to a 3.2 percent increase.
Attitudes toward buying and selling a home in the current market have changed little over the last year. Sixty-eight percent of those questioned view this as a good time to buy a home, a figure that has varied by only 3 percentage points since last November, while 10 percent say it is a good time to sell, virtually the same as the responses in each of the previous twelve surveys. The share of Americans who say they would buy their next home fell 3 percentage points to 63 percent while 32 percent say they would rent.
While attitudes toward housing are looking up a bit, Americans continue to have a negative view of the national economy and of their own finances. Seventy-five percent say the economy is on the wrong track (down from 77 percent in October) while 16 percent think it is on the right track, unchanged from the all-time low October number. As in October, 18 percent of respondents expect their own financial situation to worsen over the next 12 months while 66 percent say their income has not changed in the last year, the highest number ever to report this. Improving income was reported by 16 percent compared to 18 percent last month while 18 percent say they have had a significant decline in income over the last year. At the same time, 37 percent report that their expenses have increased significantly and 54 percent report no change.
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