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70% of Americans surveyed tell Fannie Mae it's a good time to buy a home

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According to the Fannie Mae national housing survey, 70% of Americans believe it is a good time to buy a home, up from 64% in a survey conducted in January. But there may not be enough willing sellers as 83% believe it's a bad time to sell a home. Fannie Mae surveyed 3,400 adults from June to July. Although more liked the timing of the market, 33% said they would be more likely to rent than own when they move next. But the improved sentiment toward purchase timing is surprising after the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in April and the 27% drop in existing home sales in July. Of those surveyed, 47% believe home prices have bottomed, and 31% said prices would increase over the next year. The combined 78% of those not expecting further declines is up from 73% at the beginning of the year. Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, said the survey showed a mixed outlook for housing and homeownership. "Although most Americans believe that home prices have bottomed, they are adopting a much more cautious approach toward buying," Duncan said. While most Americans still believe housing is a safe investment, the number is down from 83% from a survey conducted in 2003. "Homeowners and renters alike continue to be wary of taking on risk, and they are less confident in the long-term outlook for housing," Duncan said. Write to Jon Prior.

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