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Housing Market Optimism Is Growing

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index is based on a monthly survey of Americans. The survey asks participants for their view of the current housing market, whether now's a good time to buy or sell a home, where they think home prices and mortgage rates are headed, and how comfortable they feel financially. According to the March results, optimism is growing. The index was up 3.3 points from the month before and saw month-over-month increases for four of the six survey components. Among the improvements, there was a significant increase in respondents who say it's a good time to sell a home, rising 8 percent from one month earlier. Also, an increasing number of participants said they feel secure in their jobs and believe mortgage rates will fall over the next year. Despite rising optimism, Fannie Mae's vice president and deputy chief economist, Mark Palim, says Americans remain unsure about home prices. “Unsurprisingly, consumers expressed apprehension about the direction of home prices,” Palim said. “In March, there was an even split among respondents who said home prices over the next 12 months will go up compared to those who expect them to go down.”

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