When home prices were low and mortgage credit was tighter, hopeful home shoppers worried they might not be able to qualify for a home loan. These days, mortgage credit is more available and home price increases have taken the lead as the biggest affordability concern among potential home buyers. The latest evidence of that can be found among the most recent results of Fannie Mae’s monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index. April’s survey found a record number of respondents who said they thought they’d have an easy time getting a mortgage. Combined with job stability and higher income, the news means Americans are feeling optimistic about their finances and the prospect of buying a home. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says things are trending in the right direction. “Historically strong inflation-adjusted house price gains are tempering consumer sentiment, whereas consumer optimism regarding the ease of getting a mortgage reached a survey high,” Duncan said. “On balance, housing continues on a gradual growth track.” Overall, five of the index’s six components saw increases and the number of participants who said they felt now was a good time to buy a house was up 5 percent over the month before. More here.