Consumers Adopting a 'Wait and See' Approach on the Housing Market

Article excerpt

On June 7, Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C., released results of its May 2012 National Housing Survey and the findings show consumers' attitudes on the housing market have hit a lull. Since early fall of last year, consumers had expressed gradually more positive attitudes about the market outlook, but the May data reflect those views could be reaching a plateau, Fannie said.

"Our May consumer data show that Americans are taking a 'wait and see' approach about buying or selling a home. This is not surprising, given their assessment that their income during that past 12 months and their personal financial expectation for the next 12 have leveled off," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

Duncan added that the sentiment results reflect what is occurring in the broader economy. He noted, "Current jobs data are reminiscent of the spring slowdown that continued into the summer months during the last two years. 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 National Housing Survey in May found that 41 percent of respondents expect home mortgage rates to go up in the next 12 months (a slight uptick from April's results). …