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2012-01-31 12:36:30
Rents Rise at Faster Pace Than Home Prices in 2012

Americans surveyed said that they expect rental prices to increase in 2012 more than home prices, which will mostly remain stagnant, according to a survey by Fannie Mae.

On average, U.S. consumers expect home prices to increase by 0.8 percent over the next 12 months, up from 0.2 percent who said the same in November, according to Fannie Mae’s just-released December National Housing Survey.

Twenty-six percent of respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months (up 4 percentage points since last month), while 18 percent say they anticipate home prices to decline (down 4 percentage points since last month). Fifty-two percent say prices will stay the same.

When it comes to rental prices, Americans expect prices to increase by 3.5 percent over the next 12 months, up from 3.2 percent in November.

Five percent expect a decline in home rental prices over the next 12 months – matching the percentage for May 2011 as the lowest point in the past 12 months – while 43 percent of respondents believe that home rental prices will increase.

Thirty-one percent of Americans say they would rent their next home, while 64 percent say they would buy, up 1 percentage point from last month.

The same survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that more believe the U.S. economy is on the right track, compared to November’s survey.

Twenty-two percent of Americans say the economy is on the right track (up by six percentage points since November). The percentage that says the economy is on the wrong track dropped to 69 percent (a decline of 6 percentage points).

“December attitudes have rebounded from the lows seen during the debt ceiling debate and economic deterioration of Europe this past summer. There is marked improvement in consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy, personal finances, and future home price expectations,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae.

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