March 09, 2015Consumer Optimism Toward the Economy Reaches New All-Time Survey High
WASHINGTON, DC – Amid 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 believe it is headed in the wrong direction decreased to 45 percent, a new survey low. Additionally, the share who believe 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," said 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 believe 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 Economy and Household Finances
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s 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 February 2015 survey, as well as 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 February 2015 National Housing Survey was conducted between February 1, 2015 and February 23, 2015. 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.