Consumer Confidence on Housing Reaches All-Time High

Consumer sentiment towards the housing market reached an all-time high in the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey in May.

May was a banner month for consumers and the housing market, according to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for the month, with consumer sentiment at its highest level in the survey’s history.

Most notably, 40 percent of survey respondents reported that now is a good time to sell. That’s up from 30 percent in April and 16 percent in May 2012, and is the highest mark ever tracked by Fannie.

Fannie Mae National Housing Survey – Tracking the Recovery

The National Housing Survey, which Fannie Mae conducts monthly, surveys more than 1,000 American consumers on their thoughts of the housing market and the greater economy, and has served as one of the cornerstone documents of the housing recovery.

Other key findings from the May 2013 survey included:

•The percent of respondence who see the current market as a good time to sell rose 5 percentage points to 76, which is also the highest level in the survey’s history.

•On average, consumers expect home prices to increase by 3.9 percent over the next 12 months, another survey high; in total, 55 percent of respondents expect prices to increase (another survey high), compared with just 7 percent who think they will fall (a survey low).

•Consumers still think it’s tricky getting a mortgage, though, with 50 percent believing it would be difficult securing financing (compared to 46 percent believing it would be easy).

•Also, 46 percent of respondents expect mortgage rates to increase, a 3-percentage-point increase from April.

Doug Duncan – Consumer Sentiment “Catching Up” with Recovery

Doug Duncan, the senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said that May’s survey showed consumer sentiment to be “catching up with the strengthening housing market,” and that the new consumer sentiment towards selling will be interesting to track in the coming months.

“This jump may foreshadow a gradual return to more normal levels of housing supply from their lows of recent months,” Duncan said. “In turn, increased housing supply could serve to temper increasing consumer home price expectations. We will closely watch the potential impact of rising mortgage rates on consumer housing sentiment in the coming months.”