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7 in 10 say it's 'good time to buy'

Fannie Mae poll shows fewer see housing as a safe investment
A survey by Fannie Mae shows seven out of 10 Americans now agree with half of the proposition put forward by the National Association of Realtors in a notorious 2006 advertising campaign — that “It’s a great time to buy or sell a home.”

Seventy percent of Americans polled in June and July think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64 percent in a similar survey conducted in January 2010. But 83 percent believe it’s a bad time to sell, Fannie Mae said.

And while 78 percent believed that home prices will either remain flat or go up in the next year — up five points from January — the number of Americans who think housing is a safe investment has fallen from 83 percent in 2003 to 67 percent today.

The number of respondents saying they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move increased from 30 percent in January to 33 percent in the latest survey.

“Although most Americans believe that home prices have bottomed, they are adopting a much more cautious approach toward buying,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in a press release. “Homeowners and renters alike continue to be wary of taking on risk, and they are less confident in the long-term outlook for housing.”

People with mortgages (74 percent) and even underwater borrowers (69 percent) were more likely to say owning a home is a safe investment than delinquent borrowers (57 percent) and renters (54 percent).