More than half of Americans now expect the country’s home prices to climb within the next year, illustrating a growing optimism toward the health of the housing industry, according to Fannie Mae’s April 2013 National Housing Survey.
The share of people who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months hit a survey high of 51%, while those who believe home prices will go down remained at the survey low of 10% for the fourth month in a row.
By comparison, at the same time last year only 32% expected an increase in home prices.
“Crossing the 50% threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Reflecting that increased optimism toward housing, the share of Americans who think it is a good time to sell has doubled during the last year. Many homeowners who have been underwater are gradually returning to positive equity, and selling is now becoming an available and attractive option again.”
The share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell climbed 4 percentage points in April to 30%, compared to 15% at the same time last year.
Americans’ increasing optimism toward the selling market may bode well for continued improvement in housing activity, as recent market data suggest that five out of eight people who buy a home first have to sell, Fannie Mae reports.
The survey also found:
- The average 12-month home price change expectation held steady at 2.7%.
- The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up fell 3 percentage points to 43%, while those who say they will go down increased slightly to 7%.
- The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move increased slightly to 65%.