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Consumer attitudes toward the home selling environment stumbled last month despite positive home price change expectations, according to results from Fannie Mae’s July 2015 National Housing Survey™ (NHS). Among those surveyed, the share of consumers who believe now is a good time to sell a home fell 7 percentage points to 45 percent, while those who believe it is a good time to buy dropped to 61 percent—an all-time survey low. The dip comes as more consumers reported a negative outlook regarding personal finances and the direction of the economy. The share of consumers saying the economy is on the wrong track rose by 3 percentage points to 54 percent in July. Additionally, those who expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year fell to 44 percent, while those reporting a significantly lower income compared to 12 months ago increased to 15 percent—marking the first change in this indicator in three months.

“Consumer attitudes toward housing slid back this month,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The share of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home posted a sizable decrease from a record high in the prior month, even as home price change expectations strengthened. Deteriorating consumer assessments of income growth over the past year as well as increased caution around the direction of the economy and personal financial expectations may be contributing to the pullback in sentiment. Still, it is premature to read too much into this month’s results as the survey was taken around the time of increased global turmoil, including Greece’s potential default and China’s stock market plunge, which has receded somewhat. Most of our key indicators are as strong or stronger than they were at this time last year, which is indicative of an improving housing market this year.”

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation rose to 3.0 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 49 percent, while the share who say home prices will go down rose to 8 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose 1 percentage point to 51 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell to 61 percent – an all-time survey low, while those who say it is a good time to sell fell to 45 percent.
  • The average 12month rental price change expectation rose to 4.5 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up fell 5 percentage points to 54 percent.
  • Those who think it would be easy to get a mortgage fell to 48 percent, while those who think it would be difficult rose to 49 percent, the first time that more think it would be difficult since October.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move rose 1 percentage point to 65 percent, while the share who would rent decreased to 28 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track decreased by 2 percentage points to 37 percent, while those who say the economy is on the wrong track rose by 3 percentage points to 54 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next 12 months fell to 44 percent, ending its rising trend.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly lower than it was 12 months ago rose to 15 percent, the first change in this statistic since April.
  • The percentage of respondents who say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago remained at 31 percent.

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

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