Many Potential Buyers Still Have Concerns

May 8, 2015

Consumers continue to express concerns about recent weakening economic conditions and high home prices, according to Fannie Mae's April 2015 National Housing Survey, a poll of about 1,000 adults' attitudes on housing.

As such, housing growth likely will remain subdued in 2015, Fannie Mae's study shows. The share of Americans who say now is a good time to buy decreased by four percentage points in April as consumers report that escalating home prices and the state of the economy are keeping some on the sidelines.

"The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist. "Nevertheless, consumers continue to express concerns about the recent weakening economic conditions and high home prices. These combine to depress the share of consumers believing it is a good time to buy a home. When we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectation that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity."

Here are some additional findings from April’s poll:

  • Americans who say home prices will rise over the next 12 months believe prices will rise on average by 2.8 percent in that timeframe.
  • The number of Americans who say now is a good time to buy decreased to 63 percent, while those who say now is a good time to sell held steady at 46 percent.
  • The majority of consumers believe rental prices will continue to rise with the average 12-month rental price change expectation ticking up to 4.1 percent.
  • The percentage of Americans who believe now would be an easy time to get a home mortgage rose by 2 percentage points to 52 percent, while those who say it would be difficult remained at 46 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get worse over the next 12 months dropped to 10 percent, a new survey low.

Source: Fannie Mae