Getting a Mortgage is Easy, Consumers Say
Fifty-four percent of Americans say that they believe getting a mortgage is easy—a record high number for Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey, which is a monthly poll of about 1,000 Americans’ attitudes toward the housing market.
Mortgage Availability Easing?
The February 2015 edition of the survey finds a strengthening employment sector and consumers' growing confidence in the economy are leading to improved attitudes about the housing market.
"Continuing improvements in consumer attitudes in this month’s National Housing Survey lend support to our expectation that 2015 will be a year of the economy dragging housing upward," says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "The share of consumers who think the economy is on the right track rose to a record high since the inception of the survey nearly five years ago and for the first time exceeded the share who believe it’s on the wrong track.”
Duncan notes that consumer confidence is getting a big boost from employment growth, which also reflects consumers’ increasing optimism over the ease of getting a mortgage today.
“We continue to see strength in attitudes about the current home buying and selling environment and consistently high shares of consumers saying they expect to buy a home on their next move,” Duncan notes. “At the same time, we still need to see further growth in consumer optimism toward personal finances and income for more robust improvement in housing market attitudes."
Here are some additional findings from February’s survey:
- The average 12-month home price change expectation remained at 2.5 percent.
- The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months declined to 46 percent, while the share who say home prices will go down dropped to 6 percent.
- The share of respondents surveyed who say mortgage rates will rise in the next 12 months returned to 48 percent.
- The number of those surveyed who say now is a good time to buy a home remained at 67 percent in February; the number who say now is a good time to sell fell by 4 percentage points to 40 percent.
- The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next 12 months dropped to 46 percent.
- The number of those surveyed who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago dropped 5 percentage points to 24 percent.
Source: “Consumer Optimism Toward the Economy Reaches New All-Time Survey High,” Fannie Mae (March 9, 2015)