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Confidence in housing market starts to climb

Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 8:57:08 AM

Since the Great Recession, confidence in the U.S. housing market has been spotty at best. However, this past year has seen significant gains in this area, as conditions have improved and Americans have a better handle on the future of residential financing and real estate.

According to Zillow's recent Housing Confidence Index, confidence has increased in 11 of the 20 major metropolitan areas polled, with these gains driven by millennial optimism. For example, 82 percent of this demographic surveyed believe that they will be able to afford a home in the future.

"Cynics might argue that these results represent no more than youthful exuberance, or perhaps some naiveté, but that's missing the point," explained Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. "We need this generation to be confident and wanting to buy, regardless of the difficulties they face."

When it comes to lenders, confidence in residential financing is a bit different. Fannie Mae reported that large lenders are more likely than smaller ones to foresee easing credit standards this year. In addition, fewer lenders believe that mortgage demand will increase over the next three months compared to the previous survey results.

Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, noted that this trend is in line with the current consumer housing sentiment.