Americans' Housing Optimism Gains More Momentum amid Reported Income Growth; Supports Forecast of Pickup in Housing Activity This Year
Share of Consumers Saying 'Good Time to Sell' Reaches New Survey High
Consumer attitudes about the housing market showed marked improvement last month, strengthening the case for a lift in housing activity this year, according to results from Fannie Mae's May 2015 National Housing Survey™. In line with the positive May jobs report—which showed an acceleration in average hourly earnings—and reflecting recent trends of firming personal income growth, the share of survey respondents reporting a significant increase in their household income climbed 4 percentage points to a near all-time high. As job growth appears to be driving meaningful income growth, the outlook for housing market growth also is improving. Among those surveyed, the share who believe now is a good time to sell a home continued its steady climb, reaching an all-time survey high in May—six percentage points higher than at the same time last year. Additionally, those saying they would prefer to buy rather than rent a home on their next move increased another three percentage points to 66 percent.
“Things are looking up for housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Those saying it is a good time to sell a house hit a survey high of 49 percent. Also, the percentage of consumers telling us their household income is significantly higher than 12 months ago grew six percentage points to 28 percent over the past two months. We have found that these two indicators – good time to sell and income growth – are key drivers for the performance of the housing market and play an important role in our soon to be released Home Purchase Sentiment Index™ (HPSI). The increase in these indicators suggests our forecast of moderate improvement in the housing market in 2015 is on course and mirrors the near-term performance of other leading market data, including mortgage applications and pending home sales.”
Fannie Mae's monthly national consumer attitudinal survey report provides indicators offering a window into the opinions of Americans across the country. These behavioral insights convey what consumers think about the outlook for owning and renting a home and about their household finances, and may serve as key inputs for determining the future course of investment across housing types.
On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the survey results, the May Data Release highlighting 12 consumer attitudinal indicators, month-over-month key indicator data, technical notes providing in-depth information about the survey methodology, the questionnaire used for the survey, and a comparative assessment of Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and other consumer surveys.