November 07, 2014Americans' Personal Finance Sentiment Strengthens, Housing Optimism Follows Suit
WASHINGTON, DC – Results from Fannie Mae’s October 2014 National Housing Survey show Americans’ optimism about the housing market continued its gradual climb amid greater confidence in household income and personal finances. The share of respondents who say they expect their personal financial situation to improve during the next 12 months climbed to 45 percent – seven points higher compared to one year ago – while the share expecting their financial situation to worsen decreased to 10 percent last month. Although consumer attitudes about the direction of the economy remain subdued, with only 40 percent of survey respondents saying the economy is on the right track, the October results mark a 13 percentage point improvement compared to the same time last year.
"Consumers are growing more optimistic about the housing market in the face of broader improvement in economic sentiment," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "The share of consumers who expect their personal finances to get better is near its highest level since the survey's inception, while those expecting their finances to get worse reached a survey low. Home price expectations rose significantly this month, largely reversing the dip witnessed over the past four months, and the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to sell a home reached another survey high. The narrowing gap between home buying and home selling sentiment may foreshadow increased housing inventory levels and a better balance of housing supply and demand. These results may help drive a healthier housing market in 2015."
Homeownership and Renting
The Economy and Household Finances
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, 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). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014. For more information, please see the Technical Notes. 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 October 2014 survey, as well as a podcast providing an audio synopsis of the survey results and technical notes on survey methodology and questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on fanniemae.com. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The October 2014 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between October 1, 2014 and October 25, 2014. Most of the data collection occurred during the first two weeks of this period. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.