Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff, Americans are showing increased confidence in the housing market and the direction of the economy, according to government-controlled mortgage giant Fannie Mae .
“Consumer attitudes toward both the economy and the housing market continue to gather momentum, with many of our 11 key National Housing Survey indicators at or near their two-and-a-half-year highs,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “On the housing front, attitudes about the current selling environment continue to improve, with a significant increase in those saying it would be a good time to sell.”
Mr. Duncan added that those indicating that the economy is on the right track have risen to 44% while those saying it is on the wrong track have fallen to 50%, the smallest gap since the survey’s inception.
The share of respondents who say now is a good time to sell a home jumped five percentage points in November to 23%–the highest level since the survey began in June 2010–narrowing the gap with those who say it is a good time to buy.
Fannie Mae also said the proportion of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up increased by four percentage points to 41%. Those expecting home prices to go down within the next year also rose by four percentage points to 14% over last month, a rebound from the survey’s record low in the prior month, while the share who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months edged up to 37%, tying the survey high.
Additionally, 51% of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage, marking the highest rate since the survey’s inception.