Americans are more confident about the stability of home prices than they were at the beginning of 2010, according to Fannie Mae's latest national housing survey, conducted between October 2010 and December 2010.. And when it comes to home ownership, younger Americans are particularly optimistic, the survey finds.

Nearly 80 percent of all respondents, including home owners and renters, surveyed said they thought housing prices would hold steady or increase over the next 12 months--which is up from 73 percent in January 2010. In fact, survey respondents expressed more confidence over the stability of home prices than they did about the overall strength of the economy. Sixty-one percent said the economy is heading on the wrong track.

Young Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans were the most positive about their views on home ownership among the general population, according to the survey. Nearly 60 percent of Generation Y respondents (those between 18-34 years old) say that buying a home offers a lot of potential as an investment. Also, more than one-third of Hispanics and African Americans say they plan to buy a home within the next three years, compared to one in four of the general population.

“We are also seeing encouraging signs in the positive attitudes toward home ownership among younger Americans, despite the severe impact of the housing crisis on Generation Y,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “But most respondents to our survey continue to lack confidence in the strength of the economic recovery, and they are less optimistic about their ability to buy a home in the years ahead. This sense of uncertainty is weighing on the housing recovery today and reshaping expectations for housing for the future.”

Source: “Fannie Mae’s Latest National Housing Survey Shows Key Changes in Americans’ Attitudes Toward Housing and the Economy,” RISMedia (March 1, 2011)