Housing Looking Good Despite Economic Headwinds

The number of consumers who believe home prices will increase over the next year rose to record highs, according to Fannie Mae’s February 2013 National Housing Survey, which polled more than 1,000 Americans to assess their attitudes toward housing. Forty-eight percent of consumers surveyed say they believe home prices will rise in the next 12 months, and 10 percent of consumers say they believe home prices will inch down, a survey low.

Overall, the survey showed that consumers are optimistic about the housing recovery, but that optimism isn’t carrying over to the direction of the overall economy or household finances.

“Despite fiscal headwinds and political uncertainty, consumer sentiment toward housing is robust and continues to gather strength,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “We expect home prices to firm further amid a durable housing recovery, gradually reducing the population of underwater borrowers and helping to boost the share of consumers who say that now is a good time to sell.”

Among some of the survey’s other findings:

  • 25 percent of those surveyed say they believe it’s a good time to sell a house, also the highest level ever recorded in the survey’s history.
  • 41 percent say they expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next two months — a drop of 2 percentage points from January.
  • 31 percent say they have significantly higher household expenses than a year ago.
  • 38 percent of respondents say the economy is on the right track.

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