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Majority of surveyed Americans expect home prices to rise

It seems Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of housing, as more than half of Americans now expect the country’s home prices to appreciate within the next year, Fannie Mae reports.

Those results came from Fannie Mae’s April 2013 National Housing Survey, which revealed the share of respondents who anticipate a price increase rose 3 percentage points, bringing the April total to 51%. 

Those who believe home prices will drop remained at the survey low of 10% for the fourth consecutive month. 

"For the first time in the survey's three-year history, the majority of Americans surveyed now expect home prices to increase," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist and senior vice president. Duncan notes that crossing the 50% threshold marks a significant milestone as most Americans believe a housing recovery is truly occurring throughout the country. 

The number of respondents who says now is the time to sell rose 4 percentage points in April to 30%. This compares to 15% at the same time last year.

"Reflecting that increased optimism toward housing, the share of Americans who think it is a good time to sell has doubled during the last year. Many homeowners who have been underwater are gradually returning to positive equity, and selling is now becoming an available and attractive option again," said Duncan. 

The increasing optimism toward the selling market may be a good sign of continued improvement in housing activity, as recent market data suggest that five out of eight people who buy a home first have to sell, says Fannie Mae.

The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up fell 3 percentage points to 43%, while those who say they will go down rose slightly to 7%.

Of those surveyed, 65% said they would buy if they were going to move. The number of respondents who say home rental prices will go up in the next year dropped 2 percentage points from last month’s survey high, totaling 48% of those surveyed. 

At 39%, the share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased 4 percentage points over March.

An encouraging 20% of respondents said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, holding steady from last month.

mhopkins@housingwire.com

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