Nearly three-quarters of Americans said they thought it was a good time to buy a home last month, with expectations that rental and purchase prices will rise over the next year and as consumers’ views of their finances stabilized, according to a monthly survey by mortgage finance company Fannie Mae (FNMA).
“Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae chief economist.
The portion of Americans who indicated that it is a good time to buy in March–73%–was up 3 percentage points. The percentage of those who said it is a good time to sell was up by 1 percentage point at 14%.
The portion of participants who expected home prices to increase over the next 12 months improved to a third last month, from 28%. On average, consumers expected U.S. home prices to increase 0.9%.
A record 49% of respondents expected rental prices to increase, the highest number since Fannie Mae began tracking the metric in June 2010. On average, consumers expected rents to rise 4.1%.
Also, more respondents expect that mortgage rates–currently around historic lows–will increase over the next year: at 39%, up by 5 percentage points.
The percentage of respondents that expect their financial situation will worsen over the next year was 12%, consistent with February as the lowest value in more than a year and tied with January for the lowest to date.
The portion of respondents whose income increased significantly from a year earlier was 21%, an improvement of 1 percentage point. Meanwhile, 63% reported that their income stayed the same, consistent with February data.