Consumer Attitudes on Housing May Signal Healthier Purchase Market Ahead

PrintEmail
News Release

July 07, 2015

Consumer Attitudes on Housing May Signal Healthier Purchase Market Ahead

Katie Penote

202-752-2261

WASHINGTON, DC – Americans’ outlook toward the current home selling market and the future of home rental prices may bode well for purchase activity this year, according to results from Fannie Mae's June 2015 National Housing Survey™. Amid continued strong job and income growth, consumers are looking more favorably on the current selling climate, perhaps portending an uptick in the existing home supply. Among those surveyed, the share who believe now is a good time to sell a home reached a new survey high, increasing three percentage points to 52 percent and crossing the 50-percent threshold for the first time in the survey’s history. At the same time, the share who said they expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months rose four percentage points to 59 percent, also an all-time survey high. With an increase in housing supply from those ready to sell, combined with higher rental cost expectations, more potential homebuyers may be encouraged to leave the sidelines.

“Our June survey results show the positive impact on housing of job and income growth,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The expectation of higher rents is a natural outgrowth of increasing household formation by newly employed individuals putting upward pressure on rental rates. A complementary rise in the good time to sell measure suggests that limited inventory, which is putting upward pressure on house prices, gives an increasing advantage to sellers. Together, these results point to a healthier home purchase market, with more renters likely to find owning to be more cost-effective than renting and more sellers likely to put their homes on the market.”

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation fell to 2.6 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell to 47 percent. The share who say home prices will go down rose to 7 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose 3 percentage points to 50 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house fell to 63 percent – tying a survey low – while those who say it is a good time to sell rose to 52 percent – a new survey high.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation fell to 4.2 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up rose to 59 percent – a new survey high.
  • Those who think it would be easy to get a home mortgage remained at 50 percent, while those who think it would be difficult remained at 46 percent.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move fell 2 percentage points to 64 percent, while the share who would rent increased to 30 percent.

The Economy and Household Finances

  • The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased by 1 percentage point to 39 percent, while those who say the economy is on the wrong track fell by 1 percentage point to 51 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months fell back to 10 percent – tying a survey low.
  • The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago fell 1 percentage point to 27 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago remained at 31 percent.

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 June 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 June 2015 National Housing Survey was conducted between June 1, 2015 and June 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.

To receive e-mail updates with other housing market research from Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group, please click here.


Opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views of Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group included in these materials should not be construed as indicating Fannie Mae's business prospects or expected results, are based on a number of assumptions, and are subject to change without notice. How this information affects Fannie Mae will depend on many factors. Although the ESR Group bases its opinions, analyses, estimates, forecasts, and other views on information it considers reliable, it does not guarantee that the information provided in these materials is accurate, current, or suitable for any particular purpose. Changes in the assumptions or the information underlying these views could produce materially different results. The analyses, opinions, estimates, forecasts, and other views published by the ESR Group represent the views of that group as of the date indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of Fannie Mae or its management.

Fannie Mae enables people to buy, refinance, or rent homes.

Visit us at: http://www.fanniemae.com/progress.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FannieMae.