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Housing Momentum Stalled by Cautious Consumers

According to Fannie Mae's November National Housing Survey, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Within the next year, 22 percent expect their personal finances to worsen and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase.

According to ""Fannie Mae's November National Housing Survey"":http://fanniemae.com/portal/research-and-analysis/housing-survey.html, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy.

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Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Twenty-two percent expect their personal finances to worsen during the next year, and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase within the next 12 months.

According to Doug Duncan, SVP and chief economist at Fannie Mae: ""We continue to see caution as the defining feature of Americans' attitudes toward the economy and their personal financial situation. In this environment, the housing recovery is likely to improve, but only at a gradual pace.""

Duncan continued: ""Our November National Housing Survey results show a loss of momentum in expectations for home prices and personal finances. Also, the majority of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates implies a slowing of housing market momentum. As the economy continues to improve and household balance sheets for most Americans are slow to repair, we continue to see the transition to a full housing recovery as a slow process.""

Additional survey highlights reveal:

•The average 12-month home price change expectation continued its fall, down 2.5 percent.

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•Consumers who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months increased by 2 percentage points to 59 percent.

•Only 64 percent feel it is a good time to buy a house, which is an all-time low for the survey.

•Rental prices are expected to fall 2.8 percent.

•In spite of falling home rental prices, 50 percent of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next 12 months.

•Fifty percent say it would be easy for them to get a home mortgage today, an increase of 4 percent from the previous month's survey.

•Those who say they would buy if they were going to move decreased slightly to 68 percent.

•The share of respondents who say the economy is on the right track increased to 32 percent, but this is a lower total than earlier this year.

•Respondents who expect their personal financial situation to worsen in the next 12 months held steady at 22 percent.

•Respondents who say their household income is significantly lower than 12 months ago increased to 17 percent.

•Thirty-three percent of respondents say their household expenses are significantly higher than 12 months ago.

The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey has been conducted monthly since June 2010. It polls about 1,000 households via telephone to assess attitudes on home rental or ownership, the economy, and overall consumer confidence. Fannie Mae shares its survey results to help industry partners and market participants stabilize the housing market and provide support in the future.

Visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey page on the ""GSE's website"":http://fanniemae.com/portal/research-and-analysis/housing-survey.html for detailed findings from the November 2013 survey, an audio podcast synopsis of the survey results, and survey questions asked. Also available on the site are in-depth topic analyses, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies.

About Author: Howard Goldthwaite

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