The number of Americans who say that now is a good time to buy a home rebounded in February after last month’s all-time low thanks to slowing home-price appreciation, the latest Fannie Mae housing report found.

The survey found that 63% of respondents now say it is a good time to buy a house.

Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey polls 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances and overall consumer confidence.

According to the report, Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index slightly increased 1.2 points to 82.7 in February.

In addition, the net share of consumers who think home prices will go up over the next 12 months continued the downward trend from January, declining 4 percentage points, recording the biggest drop among HPSI components.

Click chart to enlarge

home price

(Source: Fannie Mae)

“Our February results show the most modest consumer home price expectations since late 2012,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“For consumers who think it’s a bad time to buy a home, whose share has trended up from its recent low last November, high home prices have been an increasingly contributing factor. A slower pace of home-price appreciation may provide some relief for potential homebuyers, especially first-time buyers who couldn’t reap the benefits of selling a home at high prices to buy another one,” continued Duncan.

Other quick key facts Fannie noted include:

  • The net percentage of those who say it is a good time to sell a house fell 2 percentage points to 7%.
  • The net share of respondents who say that home prices will go up fell 4 percentage points to 33%.
  • The net share of those who say mortgage interest rates will go down rose 2 percentage points to negative 50% this month, as fewer consumers say mortgage rates will go up.
  • The net share of respondents who say they are not concerned with losing their job rose 4 percentage points to 75%. A new all-time survey high was reached as 87% of respondents say they are not concerned about losing their job.
  • The net share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 3 percentage points to 15%.

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