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Consumers Respond to Housing Trends with Cautious Optimism

Posted By Tory Barringer On September 11, 2013 @ 10:28 am In Market Studies | No Comments

The housing market recovery is finally starting to slow--and consumers across the country have picked up on it, according to findings in ""Fannie Mae's"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html August 2013 National Housing Survey.

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""Consumer attitudes are proving consistent with recent slowing housing market trends, indicating that they are well-attuned to the direction in which the housing market is moving,"" Fannie Mae said in its monthly release. ""Americans' outlook on housing growth--which has been trending upward since the beginning of the year--has hit a plateau, likely due to concerns regarding the potential tapering of the Federal Reserve's asset purchases.""

The survey shows more people are optimistic about price gains over the next year (55 percent, up from 53 percent), though the average expected gain has pulled back slightly to 3.4 percent (compared to July's high of 3.9 percent). The share of people expecting prices to fall bounced up to 7 percent from July's low of 6 percent.

Sixty percent of respondents said they think mortgage rates will continue to increase over the next 12 months, down from the survey high of 62 percent.

Forty-six percent--a slight improvement over July--said they believe it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, though 53 percent--again, up slightly--said it would be difficult.

On the finance side: The share of respondents who said they economy is on the right track decreased from 40 percent in July to 37 percent in August. Meanwhile, 57 percent said the economy is on the wrong track.

The percentage of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was last year fell 3 percentage points from July's survey high to 23 percent, while the percentage of those whose income has decline increased a single point to 17 percent. Thirty-two percent said their household expenses have increased.

Looking forward, 44 percent of respondents expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next 12 months, just slightly better than the share who expect their situation to stay about the same (43 percent). Twelve percent expect their situation to deteriorate.


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