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Get Ready to Buy a Home This Spring

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As we mentioned the other day, conditions are looking up for homeowners who want to sell. That implies, of course, that things must be good for buyers too.

In fact, a survey from Fannie Mae indicates that more and more potential buyers are getting ready to move off the sidelines. As people see reports of rising home prices they lose their worries, so prominent in the past few years, about buying a home that will fall in value. And, of course, when prices are rising, potential buyers want to move before prices go up even more.

Fannie Mae's survey of 1,003 Americans found that 41% expect home prices to rise over the next 12 month, while only 10% expect prices to fall.

Underscoring the change in sentiment, 23% said it was a good time to sell a house, a 12-point gain over the past year. Also, 50% said they expect rents to go up over the next year, giving renters added incentive to buy.

In addition, 23% said their household income was significantly higher than 12 months earlier, while just 19% -- the lowest since the survey began two-and-one-half years ago -- said they were concerned about losing their job.

"Concerns about job loss are waning as payrolls are growing -- a trend that may give potential homebuyers more confidence that they can meet the financial obligation of homeownership," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist.

He noted that "the number of homeowners who are underwater is declining, reducing a barrier for those owners who need to sell their home in order to buy a new one."
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