Monday, March 19, 2012

What - Me Worry About Local Housing? Maybe Not!

If you happened to be among the thousand or so consumers who got a telephone call last month from Fannie Mae, and if you took the time to answer the 100+ questions they were asking, on behalf of the rest of us I’d like to say ‘thanks!’ 

You and your fellow survey subjects have sent a ray of light our way. You told us that you think things are finally looking up! 

According to you and your 1,000 fellow respondents, homeowners who have been considering putting up their local home for sale might have reason to be more inclined to do so. On average, Americans expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months; the number of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell rose to the highest level in over a year; and a solid 65% say they would buy rather than rent their next home if they were going to move.  

Just 29% said they would prefer to rent -- even though 45% think home rental prices will go up. That is nearly ten times the number who think rents will fall.  

Delving into personal financial expectations, only 12% think that their financial situation will worsen in the coming 12 months, representing the lowest value in over a year. Fewer believe their expenses have increased significantly in the last year;, and only one in seven report that their income is lower than it was a year ago.  

Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey is a window into opinions about owning and renting homes, household finances, housing and the economy, etc.  It is by far the most comprehensive measure of consumer attitudes toward the housing market; and since they keep at it every month, is a fair signal whether attitudes are beginning to turn up or down.  

Local attitudes tend to echo their findings, if for no other reason than Fannie Mae’s headline: “Consumer Attitudes about Personal Finances and Housing Stabilize Alongside Positive Economic News.” That may be a mouthful, but whenever you see ‘Housing’ and ‘Positive’ in the same headline, it has to make everybody a little cheerier.

If you are planning on your own local property purchase or sale, why not give my office a call? Unlike Fannie Mae, we won’t ask you 100 or more questions – but will be ready to answer all of yours!

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