Consumers more optimistic about housing market

Consumer attitudes about the housing market showed marked improvement last month, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2015 National Housing Survey™.

In line with the positive May jobs report showing an acceleration in average hourly earnings, the share of survey respondents reporting a significant increase in their household income climbed 4 percentage points to a near all-time high.

As job growth appears to be driving meaningful income growth, the outlook for housing market growth also is improving. Among those surveyed, the share who believe now is a good time to sell a home continued its steady climb, reaching an all-time survey high in May—six percentage points higher than at the same time last year.

Additionally, those saying they would prefer to buy rather than rent a home on their next move increased another three percentage points to 66 percent.

“Things are looking up for housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Those saying it is a good time to sell a house hit a survey high of 49 percent. Also, the percentage of consumers telling us their household income is significantly higher than 12 months ago grew six percentage points to 28 percent over the past two months.”

The survey found:

  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 49 percent. The share who say home prices will go down fell to 6 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months fell to 47 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house rose back up to 66 percent, while those who say it is a good time to sell went up 3 percentage points to 49 percent – a new survey high.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up rose to 55 percent.
  • Those who think it would be easy to get a home mortgage decreased by 2 percentage points to 50 percent, while those who think it would be difficult remained at 46 percent.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move rose 3 percentage points to 66 percent, while the share who would rent fell to 27 percent

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