NEW YORK, NY - More than half of Americans think home prices will go up over the next 12 months, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Just eight percent expect home prices to decline, compared with the 53% who think home prices will rise. The results were consistent across gender, age, income and education levels.
"Housing, like the stock market, is something consumers look to as an indicator for whether things are headed in the right direction," said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst. "When home prices fall, everyone gets a little queasy – homeowners and renters alike. The expectation of continued home price increases underscores an expectation for continued improvement in the job market, household finances and the overall economy."
Last year at this time, 55% of Americans correctly forecast that home prices would rise over the ensuing 12 months and nine percent wrongly predicted a decline.
Bankrate.com's Financial Security Index registered 100.4 in September, indicating improvement over one year ago as well as over the past two months. The Financial Security Index has been over 100 (the level that illustrates improvement over the past year) in seven of the first nine months of 2014. It was above 100 in six of the first nine months of 2013, just two of nine months to start 2012 and none of the first nine months of 2011.
September brought a big divergence on feelings of financial security between men and women. Not only did men's feelings of financial security improve, but they improved on all five components compared to last month's reading. Women's feelings were the exact opposite, falling on all five components compared to last month.
Job security is an area of particular strength this month, with 26% of Americans feeling more secure in their jobs and just 14% feeling less secure than one year ago.
Net worth showed continued improvement, with 27% of Americans reporting higher net worth compared to 20% reporting lower net worth than one year ago. Record highs in the stock market as well as continued increases in home prices contributed to these readings.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here: Housing Survey Report