September 16, 2010 / 5:41 AM / 7 years ago

Fannie Mae says Americans cautious on home owning

* 70 pct think it is good time to buy a house

* 33 pct say they would be more likely to rent

* 67 pct continue to believe housing is a safe investment (Adds details)

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Fannie Mae FNMA.OB, the largest U.S. mortgage funding company, said its latest nationwide survey showed that most Americans believed the housing market had reached bottom, yet they are more cautious about owning a home.

Fannie Mae said 70 percent of respondents think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64 percent in a similar survey conducted in January 2010.

However, 33 percent -- up from 30 percent -- of all respondents said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move.

"Our survey shows that consumers see a mixed outlook for housing and homeownership," Doug Duncan, the chief economist of Fannie Mae said in a statement.

About 67 percent of Americans continue to believe that housing is a safe investment, Fannie Mae said.

However, that finding is down 16 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2003, the largest drop by far among all investment types tracked since then, according to the report.

The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled homeowners and renters between June 2010 and July 2010.

On Wednesday, Fannie Mae sharply cut its forecast for annual home sales following weaker-than-expected activity in the second quarter. [ID:nN15153129] (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Will Waterman)

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