By Steve Cook
Results from the survey show Americans’ optimism about the recovery of the housing market, and that homeownership continued its gradual climb, bolstered by a series of mortgage rate decreases experienced throughout the summer. Consumer attitudes about the economy also improved substantially last month, breaking the progression of waning confidence seen during much of this year.
Survey respondents expect home prices to increase an average of 1.5 percent in the next year. The share who says mortgage rates will increase in the next 12 months dropped 7 percentage points to 33 percent. Nineteen percent of those surveyed say now is a good time to sell, marking the highest level since the survey began in June 2010. Tying the June 2012 level (and the all-time high since the survey’s inception), 69 percent of respondents said they would buy if they were going to move.
With regard to the economy overall, 41 percent of consumers now believe the economy is on the right track, up from 33 percent last month, while 53 percent believe the economy is on the wrong track, compared with 60 percent the prior month. Both the right track and wrong track figures mark the highest and the lowest readings, respectively, since the survey began in June 2010.
Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed expect home prices to go up in the next year, the highest level since the survey’s inception in June 2010. Thirty-three percent of respondents say mortgage rates will go up in the next year, a decrease of 7 percentage points since last month. Those who say now is a good time to buy dipped slightly to 72 percent.
Consumer optimism climbed in September, with 41 percent saying the economy is on the right track—the highest level recorded since the survey’s inception and an 8 percentage point increase over last month. Forty-four percent of respondents expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year, up from 42 percent in August.
The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago decreased by 3 percentage points to 17 percent. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed say their household expenses are significantly
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