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Despite budget sequestration and other fiscal policy concerns, consumers remain confident that the housing market will recover, according to the Fannie Mae March 2013 National Housing Survey. However, they have greater pessimism in their personal finances and the economy.

“Despite an uptick in concern expressed about the direction of the economy, it appears consumers believe that the housing recovery will march on,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Housing sentiment remains unshaken from the highs of the last few months. At the same time, perhaps driven by the experience of the past several years, consumers remain cautious in their housing outlook. By comparison, main measures of national home prices in early 2013 posted year-over-year gains of at least double or triple that figure.”

Forty-eight percent of survey respondents believe home prices will go up in the next year, and 26 percent believe now is a good time to sell a home — both of which are all-time survey highs. Also, 10 percent believe home prices will go down this year, which is a survey low.

In addition, 46 percent of respondents think mortgage rates will go up, which is the highest level since May 2011, and those who think they’ll go down dropped to 6 percent.

While survey respondents are confident in the U.S. housing market, the same can’t be said about their personal finances and the country’s economy, as the federal budget sequestration lingers on and many households remain on tight budgets. Just 35 percent of respondents said they believe the economy is on the right track, which is a decrease of 3 percentage points from February.

Additionally, 21 percent believe their personal financial situation will worsen over the next 12 months, which is an increase of 4 percentage points from February, and 20 percent of respondents said their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, which is a slight decrease from last month.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 18 percent of Americans said economic conditions are excellent or good and 35 percent said they are poor, which is about even with the week prior.

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  • Teresa Thrush

    My husband had a vehicle repossessed in 2008. The finance company contacted him this year about a settlement. We are due to get it paid off in August 2013. We want to sell our home and buy another. When would be the best time to do this after this settlement is paid off? I started getting retail credit cards in 2012 and have been paying them on time. My score with Experian is 708. My husbands score with Experian is 714. He has 2 retail credit cards and one Capital One card and payments are made on time. He works a great paying job and I’m disabled and can’t work, not even part-time. We would really like to get a nicer house. Refinancing our present home is out of the question even though we pay a 7.5 percent rate mortgage.We don’t want to refinance and then 6 months or sooner down the road sell our house. We need good advice. Please help.

    • Credit.com

      Teresa – If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage, you’ll definitely want to wait until you pay or settle the collection. Before a mortgage lender will approve a loan, they’ll require all old unpaid collections to be paid or settled. When to apply for a new home loan would depend on a number of factors. If you’re currently in a home you may have to try selling your home before you buy another. It really depends on the value of the home, what your scores are, and whether or not you have sufficient income to cover two mortgages if you haven’t sold the first home yet. These are all questions that are better answered by a mortgage lender. If you’re serious about purchasing a home, you should also look at your FICO scores at all three credit bureaus. This is because lenders will pull all three of your credit reports and scores (for both you and your spouse) when you apply for a loan. Here are a few resources that we think can help answer many of your questions:

      How Soon Can I Get a Mortgage After Credit Problems? http://blog.credit.com/2012/09/how-soon-can-i-get-a-mortgage-after-credit-problems/
      The First Thing to Do Before Buying a Home – http://blog.credit.com/2013/02/the-first-thing-to-do-before-buying-a-home/
      10 Mistakes New Homebuyers Make – http://blog.credit.com/2012/05/10-mistakes-new-homebuyers-make/

  • Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide

    The housing market is certainly better than it has been! If someone’s been trying to get out from under a house for a while, this could be the time that makes it possible.

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