The consumer outlook for U.S. home prices improved modestly in February, extending a recent upward trend in housing market sentiment, according to mortgage funding firm Fannie Mae (FNMA)
For its monthly reading, Fannie Mae said respondents in its February survey predicted home prices will rise 0.8% over the next year, down slightly from 1% in January, and even with December. The portion of respondents that said it is a good time to sell improved by 3 percentage points to 13% last month, the highest level in more than a year.
Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said "The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market."
About 35% of respondents said they believe the U.S. economy is on the right track, up 5 percentage points from January. The percentage who said the economy is headed in the wrong direction fell to 57% of respondents, marking a 6 percentage point decline from the previous month
The survey also found just 12% of respondents expect their personal financial situation to worsen over the next year, down 3 percentage points from January and the lowest level in more than a year
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%. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481; Tess.Stynes@dowjones.com
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