December 07, 2011Consumer Concerns Stabilize in November; Downward Slide of Consumer Sentiment Appears to Have Halted
WASHINGTON, DC – Amid a spate of positive economic news during the November survey period, consumer sentiment appears to have stabilized from previous levels, with only incremental improvement in the deeply negative housing market sentiment witnessed this summer. According to results from Fannie Mae's November National Housing Survey, home price expectations moved from negative to positive territory for the first time in six months, with respondents expecting home prices to increase by 0.2 percent over the next year. Overall, trends demonstrate that consumers are in a “wait and see” pattern as we move into 2012. This places consumer sentiment in line with Fannie Mae’s Economics & Mortgage Market Group’s November forecast of temporary economic improvement during the third and fourth quarters of 2011 leading into a slower economic growth path in 2012.
“Though their home price expectations have become slightly positive, consumers remain concerned about the direction of the economy and continue to view their household finances as being relatively flat,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Most Americans expect no improvement in their personal financial situation in the next 12 months and will likely remain wary about undertaking the significant financial obligation associated with homeownership until their view of their income, expenses, and job security heads in a more positive direction.”
Homeownership and Renting
The Economy and Household Finances
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,002 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.
For detailed findings from the November 2011 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and the questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey site. Also available on the site are quarterly survey results, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The November 2011 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between November 1, 2011 and November 25, 2011. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.