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Fannie Mae finds increased homebuyer faith in housing recovery

Sixty-nine percent of the consumers answering Fannie Mae's latest housing survey said they would choose to buy a home over renting if they had to move in the coming months.

Fannie Mae, which polled 1,000 consumers for its September survey, said that figure is equal to the June level and the highest point reached in the survey's existence, suggesting an overall turnaround in consumer sentiment when it comes to housing.

"Consumers are showing increasing faith in the nascent housing recovery," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Home price change expectations have remained positive for 11 straight months, and the share expecting home price declines has stabilized at a survey low of 11%."

While the survey doesn't suggest there is a strong belief of a robust housing recovery, consumers interviewed for Fannie's report expect home prices to edge up 1.5% on average over the next year. At the same time, fewer consumers expect mortgage rates to increase in the next 12 months with that survey figure dropping seven-percentage points to 33%.

Nineteen percent of the respondents said it's a good time to sell a home, the highest mark reached in two years. In addition, 41% of consumers now believe the economy is on the right track, up from 33% in the August survey.

Still, 53% believe the economy is heading in the wrong direction, a percentage that is high but improved from the 60% recorded a month earlier.

Forty-four percent of survey respondents expect their financial conditions to improve over the next year, which is up from 42% in August. And the share of respondents who say their household income is higher than it was 12 months ago decreased by 3-percentage points to 17%.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com

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