After declining the previous two months, consumer attitudes toward the housing market returned to ‘modestly positive’ in September, according to Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey, which polls about 1,000 Americans every month.
In September, 68% of consumers said now is a good time to buy a home, an increase of four percentage points compared to August. What's more, the share of respondents who said now is a good time to sell also increased – to 39%. Additionally, the share saying they would prefer to buy a home on their next move ticked back up to 66% after a three-point drop.
Consumer attitudes toward the overall economy also improved: About 40% of those surveyed said the economy is on the right track, an increase of five percentage points compared to August.
Despite the improvement, Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, says it ‘might be too late to save this year's home sales from posting the first decline in five years.’
‘However, the return to an upward trend in housing sentiment, combined with this month's positive news on the jobs front, suggests that a broad-based, albeit measured, housing recovery is on track to resume in 2015,’ he adds, in a release. ‘The results of the past few months show that consumer optimism remains cautious and somewhat volatile, and we'll likely continue to see bumps on the housing recovery path reflected in our survey results.’
Survey respondents said they expect home prices to rise about 2.2% during the next 12 months. The share of respondents who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 45%. The share of respondents who said home prices will go down decreased to 8%.
The share of respondents who said mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months fell by five percentage points to 45%.
The share of respondents who said they thought it would be difficult to get a home mortgage today decreased by one percentage point.
The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move rose to 66%, while the share of respondents who said they would rent decreased to 28%.