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Shutdown deflates ‘feel good’ optimism, survey reveals

Though Americans have expressed optimism about the housing recovery over the last few months, their feel-good attitudes took a turn for the worse in the run-up to the government shutdown, Fannie Mae reported in its latest National Housing Survey.

“Our September National Housing Survey results show that the improvements in consumer housing attitudes witnessed in recent months softened ahead of the government shutdown,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist. “Americans’ awareness of policy uncertainty leading up to the Oct. 1 shutdown, and the pending debt-ceiling debate, appears to have grown as indicated by an apparent cautionary holding pattern in overall consumer housing and personal finance sentiment.”

The percentage of Americans who say they believe home prices will increase over the next 12 months fell from 55 percent in August to 52 percent in September. And 63 percent said they believe mortgage rates will keep rising, and all-time high for the survey and an uptick from 60 percent in August.

Still, 72 percent say it’s a good time to buy a house, and 38 percent say it’s a good time to sell, according to the survey.

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