Americans value homeownership. It has long been seen as part of achieving the American dream and, when asked, large majorities of those who don’t currently own a home say they’d like to one day. In short, buying a home is popular. But when thinking about whether or not now is the right time to do it, perceptions of the market can sway your decision. After all, nobody wants to buy at the wrong time. So what do Americans think about the housing market these days? Well, according to Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index, they’re feeling confident financially and see conditions improving over the next year. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says optimism fell in March but overall results were encouraging. “While home selling confidence remains strong and more consumers on net expect mortgage rates to decline over the next year, respondents walked back some of their buying optimism in March,” Duncan said. “Improving perceptions of income gains and a softening home price growth outlook should help support housing demand.” More here.