By: ESTHER CHO
Both the expectation for home prices and the percentage of those who think the U.S. economy is on the right path reached record highs in Fannie Mae’s April 2012 National Housing Survey.
Americans continue to expect home prices to go up, with the projection averaging 1.3 percent over the next 12 months, the highest value recorded.
At 71 percent, a high percentage of Americans still say it is a good time to buy while the percentage who said it is a good time to sell was 15 percent, a 1 point increase from March.
“Overall, consumer views of housing market conditions have become more supportive of home purchases, and sustained healthy hiring is required to help realize these improved expectations,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae chief economist.
Duncan also mentioned the recent figures on employment in April, which showed a decline in job growth.
“Friday’s report of a second consecutive setback in job creation supports the view that the housing recovery will remain uneven this year,” said Duncan.
The expectation for average rental prices decreased slightly to 3.6 percent; in March, respondents expected rent to go up by 4.1 percent over the next 12 months.
If respondents were to move, 32 percent said say they would rent while 64 percent said they would buy. The percentage of those who said they would rent increased 2 points and reached the highest level since November 2011.
The percentage of Americans who believe the economy is on the right track rose to 37 percent, a 2 point increase from the previous month and the highest level in the survey’s two-year history. Still, an even greater 56 percent believe the economy is moving in the wrong direction.
Also, 23 percent of Americans reported their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago, while 36 percent said their household expenses are significantly higher since the same time period. Both categories rose 2 percentage points compared to March.
The percentage of those who think their financial situation will decline was unchanged from the previous two months at 12 percent, the lowest value recorded in over a year.
The Fannie Mae survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents aged 18 and older between April 4, 2011 and April 27, 2012.