Mood Improves on Home Prices

Mood improves on home pricesConsumer expectations for U.S. home prices perked up in December, matching a modest fourth-quarter improvement in the U.S. economy, according to a monthly survey from mortgage market firm Fannie Mae.

For its December reading, Fannie Mae said survey respondents now expect home prices to rise by 0.8% over the next year, up from the 0.2% gain predicted in November.

Views on the direction of the U.S. economy also improved: 22% of respondents indicated a belief that the U.S. economy is on the right track, marking a 6-percentage-point jump from November’s survey.

On personal finances, 40% of respondents said they anticipate their personal financial situation to strengthen over the next year. Fannie Mae noted the response marks the first time since February that a larger share of respondents indicated they expect improved personal finances rather than finances that will remain the same over the next year.

Despite the marked improvement in consumer sentiment, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan cautioned that consumer attitudes remain at depressed levels, with over two-thirds over respondents in December’s survey still indicating a belief that the U.S. economy is headed in the wrong direction.

The survey is based upon a monthly poll of roughly 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.

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