Consumer attitudes toward home buying shift

More consumers may be looking to purchase homes with a shift in several key housing market indicators, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2012 consumer attitudinal National Housing Survey. More Americans now expect both home rental and home purchase prices to increase over the next year. Nearly half of consumers expect higher rental prices, the highest number recorded since monthly tracking began in June 2010. These trends may be providing Americans with an increased sense of urgency to buy a home as 73 percent of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home, up from 70 percent in February.

Highlights of the survey include:
• Thirty-three percent of respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months, a five percentage point increase from last month, the highest level over the past 12 months.

• On average, Americans expect home prices to increase by 0.9 percent over the next 12 months (up slightly since last month).

• Thirty-nine percent of Americans say that mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months, a five percentage point increase from last month.

• On average, respondents expect home rental prices to increase by 4.1 percent over the next 12 months, a significant increase since February, and the highest number recorded to date.

• Forty-eight percent of respondents think that home rental prices will go up, a three percentage point increase from last month and the highest number recorded to date.

• Sixty-six percent of respondents say they would buy their next home if they were going to move, up one point since last month, while 30 percent say they would rent, up one point versus last month.