The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C., recently said in its “Eye On the Economy” e-mail newsletter that even though the housing market and the overall U.S. economy remain sluggish and most of the recently released economic data released has been disappointing, some bright spots are beginning to emerge in the housing market. House prices ended a 10-month slide as the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index ticked up in April. And while housing starts continue to bounce along the bottom, they rose in May, recovering half of the previous month's decline. In addition, oil prices, which peaked in April, have settled back down by almost 15 percent, relieving some inflationary pressure.

The NAHB blog said, “It may be a little early to be popping the champagne corks, as one month does not make a trend. We do not anticipate any further significant declines in house prices, but some minor month-to-month fluctuations are likely. Stable house prices over the remainder of 2011 should help to restore consumer confidence and bolster housing demand. By 2012, we expect house prices will trend higher and usher in a housing market recovery that will likely run for several years.

NAHB also released the results of a recent survey that it said counters some claims that the American public isn't as interested in home ownership as it was in the past.

The news release accompanying the poll results said, “Though some have suggested that housing has fallen out of favor with the American public and that Washington is targeting housing on a number of fronts — the expiration of the GSE and FHA loan limits, scaling back the mortgage interest deduction, etc. — a new poll commissioned by NAHB suggests otherwise. The results indicate that home ownership remains a priority for most Americans.”

The poll gauged likely voters' attitudes toward housing and housing policy issues. Some of the findings of the NAHB poll were:

  • 75 percent of voters say owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make.

  • 73 percent of voters who do not own a home aspire to become a homeowner in the future.

  • 95 percent of homeowners say they are happy with their decision to own a home.

  • 73 percent of voters believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to encourage home ownership.

The poll conducted by a bipartisan teaming of Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners, involved surveying 2,000 likely voters.