Majority of Americans expect housing fundamentals to rise

It seems Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of housing, as more than half of potential homebuyers now expect the nation’s home prices and mortgage rates to appreciate within the next year, Fannie Mae reports.

Those results came from Fannie Mae’s June 2013 National Housing Survey, which revealed the share of respondents who anticipate a mortgage rate increase rose 11 percentage points, bringing the June total to 57% — the highest level since the survey’s creation in 2010.

Those who believe home prices will increase hit a survey high at 57%, while those who believe prices will drop stayed steady at 7%.

“The spike in mortgage rate expectations this month seems to have had an impact on a number of the survey’s indicators and may increase housing activity in the near term by driving urgency to buy,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

He added, “Consumers may recognize that today’s still favorable mortgage rates and homeownership affordability levels will recede over time. Given rising home and rental price expectations and improving personal financial attitudes, more prospective homebuyers may be deciding that now is the time to get off the fence.”

The number of respondents who say now is the time to sell retreated slightly in June, falling four percentage points to 37%, compared to 40% in May.

The increasing optimism toward the selling market may be a positive sign of continued improvement in housing activity, as recent market data suggests that 47% of Americans think it would be easy for them to purchase a mortgage. Additionally, 72% of potential homeowners believe it’s a good time to purchase a home.

Of those surveyed, 65% said they would buy if they were going to move. The number of respondents who say home rental prices will go up in the next year jumped to 4.6%, up 1.2% from May.

At 38%, the share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track decreased 2 percentage points over May.

An encouraging 36% of respondents said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, rising six percentage points from last month.

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