Consumers are more confident that they can qualify for a mortgage and are more optimistic about the economy than they have been in nearly five years, according to a monthly survey released by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

The continuing improvement in consumer attitudes captured by Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey in February supports the expectation that 2015 will be a year of the economy “dragging housing upward,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in a statement.

The share of respondents who believe it would be easy to get a home mortgage today rose to 54 percent, the highest rate recorded since the inception of the survey nearly five years ago.

Meanwhile, the share who think it would be difficult to get a mortgage fell four percentage points from January, to an all-time survey low of 43 percent.

Respondents were also more optimistic about the direction of the U.S. economy than they have been at any time since the survey’s debut.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they think the economy is headed in the right direction.

That’s up 3 percentage points from January, and marks the first time the share of respondents who are bullish on the economy exceeded the share of those who think it’s headed in the wrong direction, which fell to a new survey low of 45 percent.

The survey also found:

  • The share of respondents who say it is a good time to buy a house remained at 67 percent, while those who say it’s a good time to sell decreased by 4 percentage points to 40 percent.
  • The average 12-month home price change expectation stayed flat at 2.5 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell to 46 percent, while the share who say home prices will go down fell to 6 percent.
  • The share who say they would buy if they were going to move fell 1 percentage point to 65 percent, while the share who said they would rent remained at 29 percent.
  • The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months increased back to 48 percent.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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