Fannie Mae is taking an upbeat view of the housing market over upcoming months because of the general improvement in Americans' outlook revealed in its most recent National Housing Survey.  Respondents to the April survey were less concerned than they have been in the past about losing their jobs, more upbeat about the direction of both home prices and interest rates, and the numbers who view it as a good time to sell a home hit a survey high of 42 percent.

It was the third month that the 'good time to sell' outlook increased which is good news as many potential move-up buyers must sell before they can buy.  The number of respondents who think it is a good time to buy remained steady at 69 percent. 

"Our April survey results suggest that consumer confidence is moving in a positive direction," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Consumer attitudes about the current home selling environment have improved and now are at the most favorable level we've seen in the survey's four-year history. Consistent with Friday's upbeat jobs report, concern about job loss among employed consumers also has hit a record survey low. These results are in line with our expectations for increased housing activity and gradual strengthening of the housing market going into the spring and summer selling season."

The number of respondents who expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months increased from 48 to 50 percent, reversing the March change.  The average expectation for a price increase rose from 2.7 to 2.9 percent

The survey found that some respondents think the rapid rise in mortgage rates over the last months may at least slow down.  Fifty-two percent expect further increases while 7 percent say rates will go down compared to 54 percent and 3 percent last month.  Thirty-eight expect no further rate changes.

Higher rents were anticipated by 52 percent of respondents, unchanged from March, but only 2 percent, a survey low, expect rental prices to fall.  The average 12 month rental price increase was 4 percent, down from 4.2 percent.

One big change was in the number of survey participants who thought it would be easy for them to obtain a mortgage.  It fell 7 percentage points to 45 percent.  At the same time the share of those who said they would buy if they were going to move was down 3 percentage points to 65 percent.

The share of respondents who said their household income was lower than 12 months ago went down to 12 percent tying the all-time survey low while those who expect their personal financial situation to get better or stay the same was virtually unchanged

On the right track/wrong track question the number of right track responses increased by two percentage points but that view is still only held by 35 percent of survey respondents. .

The Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,000 Americans via live telephone interview, asking more than 100 questions about attitudes toward owning and renting a home, home and homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.  Respondents include both renters and homeowners and the current survey conducted between April 1, 2014 and April 21, 2014.