Throughout the winter, analysts and industry experts said the housing market would regain its strength this spring and summer. Now, according to the most recent National Housing Survey from Fannie Mae, a combination of rising consumer confidence and an improving job market may be about to prove them right. The survey polls 1,000 Americans each month to gauge their attitudes toward homeownership, price changes, the economy, their personal financial situation, and overall consumer confidence. The most recent survey found the number of respondents who said they think now is a good time to sell a house at a record high, while the number who were concerned about losing their job hit a record low – both encouraging signs. Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said consumer confidence is moving in a positive direction. According to Duncan, the optimistic results are in line with Fannie Mae’s forecast of increased housing activity and gradual strengthening of the housing market this spring and summer selling season. Also among the results, 69 percent of participants said they felt now is a good time to buy a home. More here.
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Economic and housing market growth was slow in the first quarter but both are expected to pick up as the year goes on. In fact, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, that expected pick up should begin this quarter and carry through the rest of the year. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said the agency has downgraded their housing forecast slightly but the recent loss of momentum is a temporary one. Duncan believes housing will contribute to economic growth this year, with both new home sales and new residential construction experiencing increases over last year’s totals. Existing-home sales, on the other hand, have been relatively flat, due in part to the fact that there are fewer distressed properties being sold to real-estate investors this year as compared to the year before. Despite a slower-than-expected first quarter, however, Fannie Mae is still predicting a slight increase in overall economic growth in 2014 over last year’s pace. More here.
Though the housing market’s momentum slowed over the winter, Americans’ attitudes about buying and selling homes continues to move in a positive direction. In fact, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2014 National Housing Survey, 69 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy a house and the number who say it’s a good time to sell increased 4 percent from the month before. Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said there are several positive signs going into this year’s spring home buying season. Compared to last year, consumers are less pessimistic about their personal finances and more optimistic about the current selling environment and their ability to get a mortgage, Duncan said. For example, in the most recent survey, 52 percent of respondents said they thought it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage, which is an all-time survey high. The share of participants who said they’d prefer to buy rather than rent was also up, reaching 68 percent. Still, there is lingering uncertainty about economic conditions and many Americans continue to believe the economy is on the wrong track. Fannie Mae, however, expects a pickup in economic growth this year, which may boost the confidence of those still pessimistic about economic conditions and the housing market. More here.
Analysts from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group are forecasting gains for the spring and summer season. After a slow start to the year, economic growth is expected to pick up in the second quarter and continue to build through the end of the year. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said economic and housing growth will emerge from the tough winter weather and gain momentum into the spring and summer seasons. According to Duncan, fiscal and monetary policy jitters have waned and recent employment numbers came in at reasonable levels. Those improvements should help economic activity and boost the housing market. In fact, Fannie Mae expects a nearly 20 percent increase in housing starts this year and an improved market for newly built homes. The new home market faces less competition from foreclosures and distressed properties, Duncan said. And, with supply low, new home sales should continue to perform well. Generally, Fannie Mae expects the rise in home prices and mortgage rates to take a toll on sales and homebuilding, though they are forecasting modest gains for housing overall this year. More here.
Consumer attitudes about the economy and housing market have been up-and-down over the past few months. But despite the volatility, Fannie Mae’s February 2014 National Housing Survey finds that the overall outlook among Americans remains positive. Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said it’s similar to the noisy economic and housing data published over the past few month. The housing recovery is continuing, according to Duncan, and the month-to-month changes in respondents’ perceptions of home-price expectations or the ease of getting a mortgage are a reflection of short-term factors rather than the long-term trend. Generally, Americans’ attitudes about economic conditions and the housing market are in positive ranges. In fact, the percentage of participants who said now is a good time to buy a home was up 3 percent in February, reaching 68 percent of survey respondents. Expectations for home prices and mortgage rates also rose, while the share of Americans who feel the economy is on the right track and expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year fell. More here.
Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group expects economic growth to post modest gains in 2014, despite a slow start to the year. Various factors have contributed to the decline in economic activity during the first quarter of the year, including harsh weather and slower employment growth. In fact, cold winter weather has been blamed for slowing everything from residential construction to consumer spending and home sales across the country. Still, Fannie Mae expects these conditions to be temporary and believes the economy will accelerate later this year. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, said they expect the impact from special factors currently weighing on activity to reverse and believe there will be a sufficient pickup to meet their forecast for modest economic growth in 2014. More here.
According to the results of Fannie Mae’s January 2014 National Housing Survey, 65 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy a house. And, though that number fell 2 percent from the month before, paired with an increasingly positive view of the economy, housing, and mortgage market, it indicates an improvement in Americans’ perception of current economic conditions. In fact, the share of consumers who believe the economy is on the right track was up 8 percent from last month. Also, a majority of participants said they felt it would be easy for them to get a mortgage, the first time in the survey’s three-and-a-half-year history. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, said the gradual upward trend in this indicator bodes well for the housing recovery and may be contributing to this month’s increase in the percentage of consumers who said they intend to buy rather than rent their next home. The share of respondents who said they would buy hit an all-time survey high of 70 percent. Conversely, the number who said they would prefer to rent also set a record, falling to a new low of 26 percent. More here.