SURVEY: Wary Homebuyers Are Taking The Wait And See Approach

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Photo: Flickr / Dystopos

Worries about another delay in the housing market’s recovery are not dispelled by a new survey on consumer’s attitude toward homeownership.Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey, taken in May and released Thursday, shows that despite record affordability, consumers are increasingly taking a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to the idea of purchasing a home.

Among consumers polled, 41 per cent expect mortgage rates to rise in the next 12 months and 34 per cent of consumers, the most since March 2011, expect home prices to increase as well, by 1.4 per cent. Also, almost half of consumers expect rents to increase, and by an average of 4.1 per cent during the next year.

That might lead some to conclude the timing is right to make a home purchase. However, the percentage of people inclined to buy was 63 per cent, compared with 64 per cent in May and 66 per cent in March, according to the survey.

“Current jobs data are reminiscent of the spring slowdown that continued into the summer months during the last two years,” said Dough Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “If this pattern continues, we do not expect to see any significant upturn in consumer sentiment during the summer and a meaningful housing recovery likely will be delayed once again.”

The low inventory of properties put on the market by homeowners also is reflected in the survey. Only 15 per cent of consumers said it was a good time to sell a home.

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