Fewer U.S. homeowners expect the value of their homes to decline in the year ahead, but they also believe gains are unlikely, according to a just-published Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey. The proportion of homeowners that expected declines in the value of their homes in the year ahead fell to 15 percent in January, the lowest level since early 2007.
Other optimistic points from the survey include:
- The 15 percent proportion is down from 16 percent in the fourth quarter.
- In the first quarter of 2009, 26 percent expected their home value to decline.
- The mean anticipated annual gain over the next five years held steady at 2.7 percent in January.
- A zero, inflation-adjusted gain was expected, given consumers' long-term inflation expectations.
Last month, 46 percent said their homes decreased in value during the past year, while 14 percent said they increased. The lowest mortgage rates in decades and high affordability helped the housing market in 2009 after a three-year slump.However, according to the survey most home buyers must also sell their current home, and nearly all homeowners view home selling conditions quite unfavorably.