Americans are expressing their highest levels of pessimism regarding the housing market and the economy in general, according to Fannie Mae's August National Housing Survey.

More than three quarters of those surveyed (78%) said they believe the economy is on the wrong track, up from 70% in July, while 27% said they expect housing prices to decline and 22% think their financial situation will worsen over the next 12 months; for those last two points, Fannie Mae said that is the highest level of pessimism seen since August 2010.

On average, Americans expect home prices to decline over the next year by 0.5%, compared with an expected 0.3% decline in the July survey.

While 69% believe it is a good time to buy a home (up three percentage points from the previous month), only 9% said it is a good time to sell.

"The degree to which consumer attitudes appear to be sensitive to global events is interesting, and seems to be reflected in their view of the economy and their growing overall pessimism," said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "I believe the public was looking at the U.S. debt, deficit, and the ensuing political struggle with one eye, and looking at Europe and their sovereign debt issues with the other eye, and saying: 'This is not what we want.'"

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