May 07, 2012Consumer Attitudes Continue Positive Incremental Trend Despite Slow Job Growth
WASHINGTON, DC – Despite slow job growth, Americans’ attitudes about homeownership, the economy, and personal finances continue to move incrementally in a positive direction, according to results from Fannie Mae’s April 2012 National Housing Survey. The continued stabilization of consumer attitudes coupled with growth in areas such as home price expectations, whether it is a good time to sell one’s home, direction of the economy, and the percentage of Americans who saw an increase in their personal income indicate an alignment of factors that may influence Americans’ decision making about purchasing a home.
“This month's survey shows a continued gradual improvement in consumer sentiment and outlook for home prices,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “After flatlining at depressed levels for over a year, a growing share of consumers indicate that it is a good time to sell, suggesting rising optimism for the housing market. Overall, consumer views of housing market conditions have become more supportive of home purchases, and sustained healthy hiring is required to help realize these improved expectations. Friday's report of a second consecutive setback in job creation supports the view that the housing recovery will remain uneven this year.”
On average, Americans expect home prices to increase 1.3 percent over the next twelve months (the highest value yet recorded), while the percentage of Americans who say it is a good time to sell their home continued to rise to 15 percent in April (up from low, flat levels during 2011). In turn, confidence in the economy’s direction rose to a survey all-time high in April (hitting 37 percent, an increase of 2 percentage points from last month). Another positive trend is the increased share of those who reported their income as “significantly higher” from twelve months ago, which is now at the highest level recorded over the past year and 7 percentage points higher than those who reported income as “significantly lower” (the largest difference between the two since the survey began).
The Economy and Household Finances
Homeownership and Renting
The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.
For detailed findings from the April 2012 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and the questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey site. Also available on the site are quarterly survey results, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The April 2012 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between April 4, 2012 and April 27, 2012. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.