Americans’ concerns about key economic and housing issues are beginning to subside, according to results from Fannie Mae’s February 2012 National Housing Survey. Consumers’ attitudes have stabilized across most indicators – including personal finances, housing, and employment – demonstrating their sense that downside risks have abated somewhat compared with late summer and fall of 2011.
Highlights of the survey include:
• The rise in confidence in the economy’s direction continued in February, with 35 percent responding that they think the economy is on the right track, a 5 percentage point increase from January. The percentage of respondents who say the economy is on the wrong track dropped to 57 percent, a decline of 6 percentage points.
• On average, Americans expect home prices to increase by 0.8 percent over the next 12 months (down slightly since last month).
• Twenty-eight percent of respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months (consistent with last month), while 15 percent say they expect home prices to decline (down 1 percentage point since last month). Fifty-three percent say prices will stay the same.
• The percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell rose by 3 percentage points to 13 percent, the highest level in more than a year, while the percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to buy dropped 1 percentage point to 70 percent this month.
• Sixty-five percent of respondents say they would buy their next home if they were going to move, up 1 percentage point since last month, while 29 percent say they would rent, down 1 percentage point versus last month.