Improved consumer attitudes, affordability suggest housing market recovery continues

December 11th, 2012

Consumers are more confident in the ability to both buy and sell homes in the current economy.

Both buyers and sellers are showing more confidence in the state of the housing market as affordability remains high. As a result, analysts say the combination of the two may signal continued housing market strength that will remain consistent in the future.

The results of Fannie Mae’s November 2012 National Housing Survey shows the number of respondents who believe now is a good time to sell a house increased 5 percentage points to 23 percent – the highest level recorded since the survey began. In addition, 51 percent of study participants also said securing a home loan from a mortgage service company would be easy, also the highest number measured since the survey’s inception.

“Consumer attitudes toward both the economy and the housing market continue to gather momentum, with many of our 11 key National Housing Survey indicators at or near their two-and-a-half-year highs,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “On the housing front, attitudes about the current selling environment continue to improve, with a significant increase in those saying it would be a good time to sell. This growing confidence in a housing recovery, in addition to other factors, may reinforce growing consumer optimism regarding the improving direction of the general economy.”

Analysts have predicted that while home prices have bottomed out, homeownership is expected to remain affordable in the future as prices remain feasible for many middle-income Americans. The Federal Reserve Board also noted that mortgage rates are expected to remain low through 2014, or possibly 2016.