CONSUMER OPTIMISM TOWARD HOUSING CONTINUES IN APRIL

Americans’ outlook toward the housing market continued to improve in April, perhaps foreshadowing an increase in housing activity in the coming months, according to results from Fannie Mae’s April 2014 National Housing Survey. The share of respondents who believe now is a good time to sell a home increased for the third consecutive month to an all-time high of 42 percent, an encouraging sign since many potential home buyers will need to sell a home before entering the purchase market. In addition, the share of respondents who say now is a good time to buy a home remained steady at 69 percent following a gradual climb since the beginning of the year. Notably, although consumers remain generally split regarding their ability to get a mortgage, fewer respondents are concerned about losing their job – which may encourage potential home buyers to enter the market.

Highlights from the survey include:
• The average 12-month home price change expectation increased from last month, to 2.9 percent.
• The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased slightly to 50 percent, and the share who say home prices will go down held steady at 5 percent, the all-time survey low.
• The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months decreased to 52 percent, and those who said they will go down increased to 7 percent.
• Forty-five percent of respondents thought it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, falling 7 percentage points from last month.
• The share who say they would buy if they were going to move decreased 3 percentage points to 65 percent.