Survey: Most Americans Say Getting a Mortgage is Easier

February 11, 2014

More Americans say it’s easier for them to get a mortgage, according to Fannie Mae’s January 2014 National Housing Survey. Fifty-two percent of the more than 1,000 consumers surveyed say they believe it would be easy for them to get a mortgage — an all-time high for the survey and the first time it's passed the 50 percent mark. Meanwhile, 45 percent of consumers say they believe it would be difficult to get a mortgage.

Though consumers’ expectations for home-price gains within the next 12 months are softening, the impression that mortgage credit is more available should help propel the housing recovery, according to Fannie Mae’s report.

“A majority of consumers now believe that it is getting easier to get a mortgage,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “The gradual upward trend in this indicator during the last few months bodes well for the housing recovery and may be contributing to this month’s increase in consumers’ intention to buy rather than rent their next home. The dip in overall home-price expectations, though notable, is consistent with our view of moderating home-price gains this year from a robust pace last year, while positive trends in perceptions about the economy and personal finances over the next year support our view of stronger growth in the broader economy.”

Among other findings from the survey:

  • 45 percent of consumers say home prices will stay the same in the next 12 months. That's a 7 percentage-point increase over last month’s survey. Forty-three percent say home prices will rise in the next 12 months, a 6 percentage-point decrease.
  • 55 percent of consumers say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months.
  • 65 percent say it’s a good time to buy a home, a 2 percentage-point decrease over last month.
  • 38 percent say it’s a good time to sell a home, a 5 percentage-point increase over last month.
  • 48 percent believe rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, a 5 percentage-point decrease.
  • 70 percent say they would buy if they were going to move, an all-time high for the survey. Twenty-six percent say they’d rent, an all-time low.
  • 44 percent say they expect their personal financial situation to improve in the next 12 months.
  • 22 percent say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.

Source: Fannie Mae

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