Americans are feeling less discouraged about the housing market, according to a new national survey by FindLaw.com.
The percentage of Americans who say they are sitting on the sidelines rather than considering buying a house has dropped by more than half. In 2010, 63 percent of Americans said they were less likely to buy a house because of the state of the economy. Today, that number has fallen to 30 percent in the latest FindLaw.com survey.
Meanwhile, because of low housing prices and mortgage rates, the percentage of people who say that the current economic situation now makes them more likely to buy a house has risen from eight percent to 11 percent.
Forty-nine percent of people in the latest survey said the economy is making them neither more likely nor less likely to buy a house.
"Two years ago, the economic situation was driving a lot of potential homebuyers to the sidelines," says Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "But today we're finding that the state of the economy is becoming less of a factor in keeping people out of the housing market. Many factors influence housing decisions, including income, housing prices, proximity to work, job relocations, mortgage rates, ability to sell an existing home, schools, and so on. But it's clear that people's outlook on the economy is now becoming less of a drag on the housing market.
"In addition," continues Rahlfs, "among middle and upper income levels, we're seeing a significant rise in people saying the current economy is making them more likely to enter the housing market. This may be due to some combination of historically low mortgage rates, housing prices that - although rebounding - are still relatively low, and people perhaps feeling more optimistic about the economy in general."