Consumer attitudes on both housing and the greater economy appear to be stabilizing, based on the results of Fannie Mae’s February 2012 National Housing Survey, a telephone poll of more than 1,000 Americans that assess their attitude on a wide range of economic issues.
Some of the most notable results involved economic security. 35 percent of respondents think that the economy is on the right track, a 19-percentage-point increase from November, while the percent of respondents who see the economy heading in the wrong direction, 57, was down by 18 percentage points. Also, 76 percent of those surveyed said they were not concerned with losing their job, an increase of 6 percent from November.
On the housing front, 28 percent of respondents expect home values to increase in the next 12 months, compared to just 15 percent who expect them to fall. Seventy percent see 2012 as a great time to buy a home, and 65 percent said they would buy a home, rather than rent, if they had to move. Interestingly, 45 percent of the respondents expect rental prices to go up, while just 3 percent expect them to go down.
Commenting on the survey, Doug Duncan, the vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae, said that improving economic conditions influenced the respondents answers.
“The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market,” Duncan said. “As a result, we’ve seen more potential for economic upside, creating a more balanced near-term outlook.”
Other valuable information gleaned from the survey included: only 12 percent of respondents expected their personal financial situation to worsen in 2012; 63 percent said their income levels were the same as last year; and the percentage of respondents reporting an increase in expenses fell from 36 percent to 33 percent.