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optimism_economyAmid continued strengthening in employment, consumer optimism toward the economy is growing and appears to be contributing to further improvement in overall housing sentiment, according to results from Fannie Mae’s February 2015 National Housing Survey™.

The share of respondents who believe the economy is headed in the right direction increased 3 percentage points last month to an all-time survey high of 47 percent, while the share who believes it is headed in the wrong direction decreased to 45 percent, a new survey low.

Additionally, the share who believes it would be easy to get a home mortgage today increased to a record-high 54 percent while a survey low 43 percent think it would be difficult to get a mortgage.

“Continuing improvements in consumer attitudes in this month’s National Housing Survey lend support to our expectation that 2015 will be a year of the economy dragging housing upward,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who think the economy is on the right track rose to a record high since the inception of the survey nearly five years ago and for the first time exceeded the share who believes it’s on the wrong track. Consumer confidence seems to be getting a boost from employment growth. This is reflected in their views on the ease of getting a mortgage today, which also reached a survey high in February. We continue to see strength in attitudes about the current home buying and selling environment and consistently high shares of consumers saying they expect to buy a home on their next move. At the same time, we still need to see further growth in consumer optimism toward personal finances and income for more robust improvement in housing market attitudes.”

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation remained at 2.5 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell to 46 percent. The share who says 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 increased back to 48 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house remained at 67 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell decreased by 4 percentage points to 40 percent.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation increased to 4.0 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months remained at 52 percent.
  • At a survey high of 54 percent of respondents think it would be easy to get a home mortgage today, while the share saying it would be difficult to get a mortgage fell 4 percentage points to 43 percent—a survey low
  • The share who says they would buy if they were going to move fell 1 percentage point to 65 percent, while the share who would rent remained at 29 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased by 3 percentage points to 47 percent—an all-time survey high, couple with a survey low of 45 percent of those saying the economy is on the wrong track.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months fell to 46 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell 5 percentage points to 24 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months fell to 31 percent.

For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com/progress.

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