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New findings from a National Association of Realtors survey show that more Americans believe that now is a good time to purchase a home.

Consumer opinions about home buying bounced back in the first quarter of 2019, with 37 percent stating that they strongly believe now is a good time to buy, up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 but down from 38 percent one year ago.

Only 35 percent of respondents said that now is not a good time to buy a home, compared to 37 percent in 2018’s fourth quarter.

NAR’s first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey also found that a majority of those polled, 53 percent, said that the economy is improving, down slightly from 59 percent at the end of last year.

In 2019, optimism is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas.

NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said several factors are helping to improve the attitudes of potential homebuyers.

“First, inventory has been rising, so those buyers interested in making a purchase will not be limited in choices,” Yun said. “Additionally, more stable home price trends are leading to more foot traffic at various open house gatherings.”

The fourth quarter of 2018 broke the trend for respondents who thought home prices had been steadily increasing over the last 12 months. The first quarter of 2019 followed that trend, as 61 percent of respondents said they think home prices in their communities have increased over the last 12 months, a drop from 63 percent in 2018’s fourth quarter.

Thirty-one percent said prices within their community had remained the same, unchanged from a year ago.

This quarter’s survey asked respondents to look ahead regarding local housing prices in the near future.

Forty-three percent said they expect prices in their communities to stay the same over the next six months, up 2 percent from last quarter.

However, 47 percent believe prices will rise in the coming six months, while 10 percent believe prices will drop in the next six months.