Americans more confident in housing recovery About 60% of those surveyed last month had positive views about the housing market and 70% expect property values improve over the next two years

(Bloomberg) – Potential homebuyers and sellers are growing more confident that the U.S. real estate market will begin to recover as soon as next year, according to a Prudential Real Estate survey.

Some 60% of people surveyed last month had positive views about the housing market and 70% expected property values to improve over the next two years, according to the survey released Tuesday. About 63% of respondents said they considered real estate a good investment, up from 52% last year, the Irvine, Calif.-based broker reported.

This is the second consecutive year consumer confidence in housing has improved, signaling the property market may “finally be climbing out of its deep hole,” said Stephen Van Anden, chief marketing officer for Prudential Real Estate.

While foreclosures and declining home prices have contributed to a six-year real estate slump, rising employment and low mortgage rates may be bolstering buyer confidence. The Federal Reserve, in its regional Beige Book business survey issued Feb. 29, said the housing market “has improved somewhat in most districts” with Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas among cities reporting increases in home sales.

More than 90% of respondents in the Prudential survey said the housing crisis is a reminder they must be more cautious in buying and selling property. About 80% of people polled said homeownership is important to them, while 15% said the economic downturn made owning a home less important.

“There is still a desire for homeownership, and as we see continued improvement in the job market, there is going to be an unleashing of pent-up demand,” Mr. Van Anden said.

Survey respondents were 25 to 64 years old with a household income of at least $50,000, and either recently bought or sold a home or are considering a purchase or sale. Prudential Real Estate collected responses from 1,251 people.

By Bloomberg News

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