Optimism for home mortgages at record high: Fannie Mae

March 10, 2015

WASHINGTON (3/11/15)--Consumers who believe it would be easy to get a home mortgage today increased to a record-high 54%, said Fannie Mae's February National Housing Survey. Those who think it would be difficult totaled a low 43%.

The results reflect growing consumer optimism about the economy amid stronger employment, with 47% of respondents saying the economy is headed in the right direction.

That's up three percentage points--the highest share since the survey's inception nearly five years ago, said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president/chief economist. Those saying the economy's headed in the wrong direction decreased to 45%, a survey low.

"Continuing improvements in consumer attitudes in this month's National Housing Survey lend support to our expectation that 2015 will be a year of the economy dragging housing upward," Duncan said.

"We continue to see strength in attitudes about the current home buying and selling environment and consistently high shares of consumers saying they expect to buy a home on their next move," Duncan said, adding that "we still need to see further growth in consumer optimism toward personal finances and income for more robust improvement in housing market attitudes."

Other findings:

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation remained at 2.5%;
  • Respondents expecting prices to increase in the next 12 months fell to 46%; 6% expect prices to decrease;
  • Forty-six percent expect mortgage rates to go up in that period;
  • ixty-seven percent believed now is a good time to buy a house, while 40%--a four percentage point decrease--said it is a good time to sell;
  • Those expecting their personal financial situation to improve in the next 12 months fell to 46%; and
  • Twenty-four percent said household income is significantly higher than 12 months ago, a five percentage point drop; 3.1% said expenses were higher.