Daffodils, April showers, robins and a new crop of For Sale signs seem to be working their seasonal magic on home buyers. The latest Fannie Mae survey, conducted in March, reports that the gloominess that shrouded buyers during the bitter winter months has melted away and attitudes are nearly as positive as they were a year ago.
Consumers who say it’s a good time to buy reached 69 percent, the highest buyer confidence has been since September and just below 71 percent levels of March and April last year. Confidence fell as low as 65 percent in January when concern over interest rates was high. Concern over rates fell markedly in March. The percentage of those who expect rates to rise fell from 56 to 54 percent from February to March and those who expect rates to fall rose from 34 to 38 percent.
Expectations that prices will increase also declined from February to March and contributed to buyer confidence. Those who expect prices to increase fell slightly from 50 to 48 percent and those who expect prices to stay the same shot up from 38 to 42 percent. Some 7 percent expect prices to fall, up from 5 percent in February. Overall, those participating in the survey expect prices to rise only 2.7 percent in 2014, down from 3.2 percent in February.
Sellers are feeling better about the real estate markets as well. Some 38 percent of consumers say this is a good time to sell, up from 34 percent in February.
The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,005 respondents aged 18 and older between March 1, 2014 and March 23, 2014. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Findings were compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010.
For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com.