Despite growing economic confidence, Americans' housing sentiment remained tepid in October, according to survey findings from Fannie Mae. Forty percent of American consumers polled in Fannie's latest National Housing Survey said they believe the economy is on the right track at the moment, flat from September's survey but up 13 percentage points over the past year. Housing attitudes were more mixed, however.
Given current perceptions of home price changes and mortgage credit access, 65 percent of Americans in Fannie’s survey said now is a good time to buy a home. On the other hand, the share of consumers saying now is a good time to sell picked up, hitting a survey high of 44 percent. Analysts at Fannie Mae took the closing gap as a positive sign, saying it may foreshadow increased inventory and a better balance of supply and demand heading into 2015.
Despite setbacks this year, the national recovery is slowly but surely getting where it needs to be, according to the latest quarterly tracker from the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB’s Leading Markets Index, which tracks housing permits, home prices, and employment conditions relative to their last normal levels, recovered in the third quarter to 90 percent. According to the group, nearly half of the more than 300 markets tracked for the index improved since August, and 59 are now back to or above their normal level of housing and economic activity. With job creation and home prices helping to spur pent-up demand for homes, the NAHB says the biggest area still needing improvement in is new construction.