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Seventy-one Percent Still Say It’s a Good Time to Buy

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Home prices are rising at double digit rates. Inventories are at historic lows. Two out of five applicants for a purchase mortgage are rejected. Yet nearly three quarters of Americans say it’s a good time to buy a home.

While some would argue it’s always a good time to buy, conditions have turned to favor sellers in most markets across the nation. Yet even though a slight majority of consumers participating in Fannie Mae’s latest monthly National Housing Survey expect prices to rise over the next three months, 71 percent said it’s still a good time for buyers.

By contrast, the share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell climbed 4 percentage points in April but still reached only 30 percent, compared to 15 percent at the same time last year. That’s not even half as many as those who said it’s a good time to buy. The percentage that said it’s a good time to buy stayed steady from March.

The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up fell 3 percentage points to 43 percent, while those who say they will go down increased slightly to 7 percent.

The average 12-month rental price change expectation held steady at 4.1 percent.

Forty-eight percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next year, a 2 percentage point decrease from last month’s survey high.

The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move increased slightly to 65 percent.

“For the first time in the survey’s three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Crossing the 50 percent threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country. Reflecting that increased optimism toward housing, the share of Americans who think it is a good time to sell has doubled during the last year. Many homeowners who have been underwater are gradually returning to positive equity, and selling is now becoming an available and attractive option again.”

For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com.

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