More Consumers Planning To Buy As Mortgage Concerns Ease

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1.13.14–Inman News–Andrea V. Brambila Associate Editor

The share of consumers who plan to buy a home rose to 6.9 percent in December, up from 5 percent in November, according to a monthly economic outlook released today by Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group.

Despite concerns about mortgage availability, Fannie Mae economists reported that consumer attitudes about the ease of getting a mortgage are at the highest level in the 3 1/2-year history of its National Housing Survey.

“This result is consistent with the Federal Reserve’s survey of senior loan officers who reported that they have eased lending standards for residential mortgages over the past year and thus should offset some negative impact stemming from the current higher interest rate environment,” Fannie Mae economists said.

Now that some fiscal uncertainty has been resolved at the federal level, Fannie Mae economists predict an increase in consumer and business spending to bolster economic growth this year, with housing’s contribution expected to double.

Gross domestic product (GDP) will likely come in at 2.9 percent for all of 2014, up from an estimated 2.6 percent in 2013. Of that growth, the mortgage giant anticipates 0.6 percent will come from housing — largely due to new homebuilding activity — up from 0.3 percent in 2013.

“Despite the rise in mortgage rates since the spring, many housing indicators posted strong gains at the end of 2013 and consumer housing attitudes are strengthening, all of which bodes well for continued but measured housing recovery in 2014,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in a statement.

– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2014/01/13/more-consumers-planning-to-buy-as-mortgage-concerns-ease/#!

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