Fannie Mae: Consumers still optimistic for housing market improvement

According to the March 2013 National Housing Survey conducted by Fannie Mae, fiscal policy concerns and the recent budget sequestration hasn't weakened the faith that consumers posses in the bolstering residential real estate sector.

As mortgage records continue to hover at affordable levels, another factor which could possibly be contributing to the recovery of the national housing market is consumer confidence. 

According to the March 2013 National Housing Survey conducted by Fannie Mae, fiscal policy concerns and the recent budget sequestration hasn't weakened the faith that consumers posses in the bolstering residential real estate sector. Amid apparent pessimism regarding the overall economy and personal finance, about 48 percent of those surveyed reported they believe home prices will appreciate in the next year. Additionally, 26 percent of respondents said they think now is a good time to sell a home, which is 1 percent more than the preceding month and about twice as many people than last year.

Due to these positive developments, public property records may see a considerable uptick in property purchase this year. 

"Despite an uptick in concern expressed about the direction of the economy, it appears consumers believe that the housing recovery will march on," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Housing sentiment remains unshaken from the highs of the last few months. While the survey shows a string of 17 positive one-year-ahead home price expectations through March, the average expected gains have remained below 3 percent. By comparison, main measures of national home prices in early 2013 posted year-over-year gains of at least double or triple that figure."

Mortgage rates offer consumers additional point of optimism
Another government sponsored enterprise, Freddie Mac, announced in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending April 4 that fixed-rate mortgage were again seen at falling levels - affording consumers additional opportunities to take steps toward homeownership. Organization officials said the fluctuations seen in the 30-year FRM product during the past two months may have greatly assisted the ongoing housing recovery. 

Last week, 30-year FRMs reportedly averaged 3.54 percent, showing a fall from the previous week's level of 3.57 percent. Meanwhile, average 15-year FRMs were recorded at 2.74 percent, slipping from the reading of 2.76 percent seen the week prior. On a year-over-year basis, these products also recorded significant improvement, as the first week of April 2012 saw 30-year FRMs at 3.98 percent and 15-year FRMs at 3.21 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, while still affordable, exhibited varied change last week. The organization noted that five-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs declined to 2.65 percent from 2.68 percent, however, one-year treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs rose modestly to 2.63 percent from the preceding week's level of 2.62 percent.



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