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Americans Feeling Good About Housing Market Growth

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There have been significant improvements throughout the national housing market over the last year and that in turn has led many Americans to start feeling better about its chances for continued improvements over the course of 2013.

Today, 50 percent of Americans say that they believe the housing market will continue improving this year, according to new data from a Bloomberg National Poll. That’s compared with 31 percent who say it will stay more or less the same, while just 16 percent believe it will decline. Along similar lines, 27 percent of those polled said they feel home prices will continue to rise over the course of the year, while 34 percent say they’re more likely to hold steady, and just 16 percent expected them to dip.

That constitutes a major change in attitudes from even two months prior, the report said. A similar poll conducted in December found that only 20 percent of respondents felt their home values would rise over the course of 2013, and that was matched by the 20 percent who expected declines.

Moreover, optimism for the housing market seems to be spreading to expectations for the economy as a whole, the report said. Now, 43 percent say they see the prospects for job growth nationwide as growing over the course of the year, compared with 30 percent who predict them maintaining its current levels, and just 26 percent who believe they will decline. Overall, 37 percent expect a stronger economy, and the same proportion believe it will be unchanged, while just 25 percent expect it to deteriorate.

“Prices are very steadily, slowly, starting to creep back up,” says Eric Matheny, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who purchased a new home five months ago, told the news agency. “The housing market is a major part of the economy, so it says something about the strength of the economy.”

In the past 12 months or so, the housing market has taken significant steps forward thanks to increased buyer demand spurred by a combination of low prices and rock-bottom interest rates. As such, the increased competition for a small number of properties – constrained by those low prices – drove values higher in general and encouraged more homeowners to enter the market as they got out from under negative equity. Many experts believe prices will continue to rise for some time.

Image: iStockphoto

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