More Americans feel confident about their household finances, the housing recovery, and the prospect of an economic upturn, ""Fannie Mae"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html said Wednesday.[IMAGE]
The mortgage giant drew on poll data from some 1,000 respondents to sketch a blend of guardedness and hopefulness in a National Housing Report.
Thirty-five percent of Americans now believe the economy is on the right track, an increase from 19 percent in November, compared with 57 percent who still feel damp about the state of[COLUMN_BREAK]
Fewer respondents fielded layoff concerns. Seventy-six percent of Americans say they do not feel concerned about job loss, up from 70 percent in November.
├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£The pickup in the pace of hiring over the past few months has helped soothe consumer concerns, lifting their moods regarding their personal finances, the direction of the economy, and their views on the housing market,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø ""Doug Duncan"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/company-overview/leadership/duncan.html, VP and chief economist with Fannie Mae, said in a statement.
When it came to housing, respondents anticipate that home prices will inch forward by 0.8 percent over the next 12 months, while 28 percent believe figures for the same will increase and 15 percent expect more declines.
Ten percent of respondents believe that mortgage rates will continue to fall further, reflecting a 2-percent increase from January.
The number of Americans who believe it is a good time to sell their homes climbed to 13 percent, up 3 percentage points from the past period.
Duncan said the developments create a ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£more balanced near-term outlook├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø for the economy as it enters the New Year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a shift from the doom-and-gloom prophesied by many analysts last fall.