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Mixed messages: Housing confidence on uptick for now

Consumer attitudes are reflecting greater optimism in the housing market heading into real estate’s traditionally strong spring selling season, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2014 National Housing Survey.

In the poll of 1,000 people, 38 percent say it’s a good time to sell a home, up from 26 percent a year ago. The poll also shows that 69 percent of those surveyed say it’s a good time to buy, and 52 percent say it’s easier today to get financing for a home.

Americans also feel more confident about their personal finances: An all-time survey high of 40 percent say their personal financial situation has improved during the past year.

“The housing recovery continues to proceed in fits and starts,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Rising mortgage rates and a lack of supply have dampened housing market momentum. However, we see several positive signs going into this year’s spring home-buying season, compared with last year . . .”

However, consumers’ home-price expectations softened a bit in the latest survey. Slightly fewer respondents – 48 percent – said they thought home prices would rise in the next 12 months.

Duncan added that most consumers continue to say the economy is on the wrong track. He expects to see a pickup in economic growth later in the year, boosting the confidence of prospective buyers and sellers.


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