Agents, if you’re not busy right now, you should be! Americans are feeling pretty good these days about the housing market, according to Fannie Mae’s latest monthly housing survey. In fact, Americans have been feeling pretty good about the housing market for a year now. Two thirds or 62% of Americans said that April, 2017, was a good time to buy a house, inching a few more percentage points above the Spring of 2016 number.
Fannie Mae polls 1,000 Americans with more than 100 questions about their attitudes on owning and/or renting a home, price changes in the market and the health of the economy.
Sarah Shahdad, market insights researcher at Fannie Mae, said, “Historically, low interest rates are the top reason Americans think it’s a good time to buy.” Interest rates continue to be relatively low thus, this optimism about buying a house. Additionally, the spring/summer home buying season gets a push because people want to be settled in their new homes prior to school starting in September.
On the other hand, “housing affordability is still a big challenge for people,” said Shahdad. “Incomes have not been rising as rapidly as home prices…” This housing affordability problem is as consistent as peoples’ good feelings about the housing market overall. April, 2017, 27% cited the affordability issue; March,2017, 30% cited the affordability issue; April, 2016, 31% cited the affordability issue.
Most people, 53%, think prices will increase in the next 12 months making the affordability issue more pronounced. 62% think mortgage rates will likely rise and 52% anticipate rental prices increasing. (Perhaps now is the right time to buy?)
The most optimistic feelings Americans have are about the economy overall. Joseph Kirchner, senior economist at realtor.com says that “…Americans are feeling more optimistic because the economy is better.” 88% of Fannie Mae’s interviewees said they are not worried about losing their jobs next year and 25% said they are making more money this year than they made last year. “People are going to make a long term financial commitment to purchasing a home because they have the income, they have the job and they feel more confident they’re going to be able to keep the job. People’s fears and insecurities that they had during the recession are waning.”