American consumers cautiously optimistic

Consumers showed concern about the housing market situation, according to a report.

Some property management companies may show concern over the fact that consumers' confidence slow in June due to the economic situation in the country, despite the measurement still revealing some positives, according to Fannie Mae.

The government-sponsored enterprise's June 2012 National Housing Survey showed that over the next 12 months, consumers think home prices will increase by 2 percent. This is 0.6 percent higher than May's projection, as well as the highest levels since June 2010, when the survey was first released.

In addition, rental prices were expected to rise by approximately 4 percent in the next year, which has roughly been the expectation since May, the report noted. Nearly half of those polled explained that they expect rental prices to rise in the next year. Fewer than 10 percent think they will drop.

The report found that many Americans are still not optimistic about the economic situation. Only 36 percent explained that they feel the economy is on the right track, which was no different than the previous month.

In addition, only 42 percent felt that their own personal financial situation would remain unchanged, which was 4 percentage point lower than in May, according to the report. Another 43 percent said they expect their situation to get better. Fewer than one in five noted that their household income improved markedly over the past year. This statistic was a decline of four percentage points, as well as the lowest figure recorded since last fall.

"While consumers remain cautious about the general economy, their attitudes toward the housing market continue to improve," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Although this positive trend may be short-lived if the general economy falters, one might ask whether consumers are increasingly seeing the current environment as a unique opportunity to buy a home while home prices remain depressed, rental costs are increasing, and interest rates are near historic lows."

The report added that only 27 percent of Americans would rent if they decided to move, which was five percentage points lower than May's reading. Furthermore, 69 percent explained that they would purchase a home if they decided to move, which may concern some commercial property managers, despite a strong past several months.

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