Consumers see sunny days ahead for mortgages

by Ryan Smith08 Jan 2014
Consumers are getting more optimistic about the housing and mortgage markets, according to data released Tuesday by Fannie Mae.

According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey, 50% of consumers are optimistic about their mortgage credit, saying they believe it would be easy to get a mortgage. That’s up from 45% in last year’s survey. Forty-nine percent of consumers surveyed also believed they’d see home prices rise over the next 12 months, up from 43% last year.

“The marked improvement in housing market sentiment over the course of 2013 bore out our view going into the year that the housing recovery was on a firm footing. Year-over-year gains in home price expectations and attitudes about the current selling environment were particularly notable,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Going into 2014, housing attitudes are recovering from a recent dip that coincided with the heated fiscal discussions between the (Obama) administration and Congress late last year. Consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage today are at their highest level in the survey's three-and-a-half-year history, which should help offset the current higher interest rate environment and support a continued but measured housing recovery as we move through 2014.”

A majority of consumers also believe it’s a good time to buy a house, with 67% of respondents saying they think now is a good time to buy. That may be correlated with the fact that most consumers also expect mortgage rates to rise over the next 12 months. More consumers are also expecting their own finances to improve, with 42% saying they see their personal financial situations to improve in the next 12 months – up four percentage points from last year.
 

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