From the WSJ:
Consumer confidence in the housing recovery has leveled off, likely connected to concerns that the Federal Reserve will cut back on asset purchases, according to new data from mortgage-finance company Fannie Mae (FNMA).
Americans, already pessimistic regarding their personal finances and the economy, demonstrated declining optimism in August across key housing-market measures. Those saying it would be a good time to sell a house declined four percentage points to 36% from July, and those saying it’s a good time to buy a house decreased three percentage points to 71%.
According to the survey, the share of consumers who believe home prices will go up in the next year rose two percentage points to 55%.
“The spike in mortgage rates associated with the possibility that the Fed will begin to wind down its asset purchase program later this month has dampened the improving trend in consumer sentiment regarding housing witnessed in our survey since the start of this year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
The average 12-month home price change expectation decreased slightly to 3.5%, Fannie Mae said. The percentage of respondents who think mortgage rates will go up decreased two percentage points to 60% from last month’s survey high.
The average 12-month rental price expectation fell slightly to 4.1%.
The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move increased slightly to 65%, while the share who said the economy is on the right track fell three percentage points from July to 37%.
The percentage of respondents who expect their personal financial situation to get better over the next year edged up one percentage point to 44%. The number of respondents who said their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago fell three percentage points to 23%.