A majority of Americans believe that home prices in their area will rise over the next year, according to a new survey from Gallup. The survey found 56 percent of Americans say they expect average prices to increase, which is up from an all-time low of 21 percent in 2011. It is also five times the number that say prices will fall. The results of Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance poll are further evidence that optimism about the housing market continues to build after experiencing sharp declines following the housing crash. Americans are confident that prices will keep trending upward and that now is a good time to capitalize by purchasing a home. In fact, 74 percent of respondents said it was a good time to buy a house, which is among the most positive readings in survey history. The number of Americans who think now is the time to buy has been climbing in recent years after dropping to 52 percent in 2006. According to Gallup, Americans’ view of the housing market has mostly recovered from the lows seen during the downturn. People feel the worst is over but prices aren’t yet overvalued. This perception is partly responsible for the expectation that this spring and summer will see an increase in home sales. More here.