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Consumer confidence, housing market show improvement

Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 12:31:25 PM

Over the course of 2013, there have been a fair share of highs and lows for consumers. At the moment, affordable residential financing and buyer confidence has helped the U.S. economy and housing market return closer to normal.

Now, more people are growing comfortable with their personal finances and the state of the economy, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. Overall, the reading is the highest it has been since Aug. 11. 

Household wealth has shown improvement, the news source reported. Thanks to the housing market and stock gains, consumer spending has grown to help boost the entire U.S. economy. However, there is still a gap between families with a high income and those with a lower one.

"Rising equities over the past few weeks have bolstered the confidence and portfolios of Americans, most notably those at the upper end," Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist at Bloomberg LP, told Bloomberg News. "Sentiment remains low for almost everyone else."

Despite the differences, the housing market as a whole has taken another positive step. Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, stated that economic recovery is 67 percent back to normal, pre-bubble levels.

Kolko added that residential financing rates haven't slowed down home sales yet. Instead, the impact has been felt on refinancing activity. Rates are on the historically low side, meaning there are still opportunities for buyers.