Most consumers expect home rental prices to continue to rise in the next year, but 43 percent still think it is too difficult to get a mortgage, according to a release of the Fannie Mae February 2015 National Housing Survey.

Doug Duncan chief economist for Fannie Mae says consumers are not yet ready to move on housing

Douglas Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for Fannie Mae.

“Continuing improvements in consumer attitudes in this month’s National Housing Survey lend support to our expectation that 2015 will be a year of the economy dragging housing upward,”  Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said in the release.

” Consumer confidence seems to be getting a boost from employment growth. We continue to see strength in attitudes about the current home buying and selling environment and consistently high shares of consumers saying they expect to buy a home on their next move.

“At the same time, we still need to see further growth in consumer optimism toward personal finances and income for more robust improvement in housing market attitudes.”

Here are some highlights from the survey:

Homeownership and Renting

  • The average 12-month home price change expectation remained at 2.5 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell to 46 percent. The share who say home prices will go down fell to 6 percent.The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months increased back to 48 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to buy a house remained at 67 percent. Those who say it is a good time to sell decreased by 4 percentage points to 40 percent.
  • The average 12-month rental price change expectation increased to 4.0 percent.
  • The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up in the next 12 months remained at 52 percent.
  • At a survey high of 54 percent of respondents think it would be easy to get a home mortgage today, while the share saying it would be difficult to get a mortgage fell 4 percentage points to 43 percent—a survey low.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move fell 1 percentage point to 65 percent, while the share who would rent remained at 29 percent.

About the survey

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). To reflect the growing share of households with a cell phone but no landline, the National Housing Survey has increased its cell phone dialing rate to 60 percent as of October 2014.

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