Americans More Confident about Stability of Home Prices

Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey finds that Americans are more confident about the stability of home prices than they were at the beginning of 2010, even though they lack confidence in the strength of the economy.

According to the survey, 78 percent of respondents believe housing prices will hold steady or increase over the next 12 months, up from 73 percent in January 2010.  However, nearly two-thirds still believe the economy is on the wrong track, virtually unchanged from the beginning of last year.

Younger Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans are generally more positive about owning a home than the general population, with 59 percent of Generation Y (ages 18-34) saying buying a home has a lot of potential as an investment, even though this age group suffered the steepest decline in homeownership during the housing crisis — from nearly 44 percent when home prices peaked to under 40 percent in 2009.

The percentage of Americans who believe that buying a home is a safe investment declined to 64 percent over the course of the year, from 70 percent in January 2010. This is down sharply from a similar survey conducted in December 2003, when 83 percent of the general population thought buying a home was a safe investment.