Confidence rises for home buying, prices

Overall, 77 percent expect prices to rise or stay the same in 2010, which should make it easier for homeowners to sell giving buyers a broader choice of housing and reducing fear that prices will drop after a purchase. 

Confidence that housing prices would rise hit a high of 70 percent the past five years, gradually declining to 22 percent in April 2009. About 43 percent of people polled expect home prices to remain the same this year. 

Confidence in prices was strongest in the East and and West -- each at 39 percent that say prices will go up -- followed closely by the South at 34 percent. The Midwest was still lagging a bit at 24 percent but 48 percent expect the prices to hold steady, the highest of any region. 

During the past seven years, Americans' confidence in the market peaked in 2003, when 81 percent thought it was a good time to buy a house. 

When the housing boom ended in 2005, that confidence dropped to 52 percent in 2006, 58 percent in 2007 and, with the rooting of the recession and increased difficulty in getting loans, sank again to 53 percent in 2008.