WASHINGTON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Sellers and buyers in the U.S. housing market saw a stronger sentiment in March as falling mortgage rates improved housing affordability, the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, said on Monday.
The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) rose 5.5 points to 89.8 in March. The HPSI was up 1.5 points compared with the same time last year, said Fannie Mae.
"A brighter housing market outlook drove this month's increase in the HPSI -- a welcome sign from consumers as we enter the spring and summer homebuying seasons," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
The net share of Americans who saw a good chance to buy a home rose 7 percentage points to 22 percent in March, while those who thought a good time to sell surged 13 percentage points to 43 percent, said Fannie Mae.
Meanwhile, the net share of those who expected home prices to rise increased 5 percentage points to 38 percent.
"The results further corroborate the positive effect of falling mortgage rates on affordability, which we expect will help support a rebound in home sales," Duncan said.
For the week ending April 4, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the United States averaged 4.08 percent, U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the net share of people who said their household income was significantly higher than a year ago rose 2 percentage points to 20 percent, according to Fannie Mae.
"Consumers appear to have regained some confidence in the housing market, with perceptions of both home buying and home selling conditions returning to their longer-term trends," said Duncan.