There are an endless number of reasons you might decide to buy a home at any particular time in your life. Whether you just got a new job on the other side of town or are looking for a place closer to family, the motivation behind a move is usually very personal. But there are economic factors at play, as well. Your financial situation, optimism about the future, and perception of the market can also influence a decision to stay where you are or pack your belongings. Fannie Mae’s monthly Home Purchase Sentiment Index looks at how Americans are feeling about buying a home, the real estate market, and their personal economic outlook. In December, the overall index fell slightly from the month before, though the number of Americans who said they thought it was a good time to buy a house was up from November. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says there’s been an increase in economic optimism recently but whether it carries through the rest of the year is uncertain. “A spike in economic optimism in the immediate aftermath of an election is typical,” Duncan said. “Whether consumers will sustain this level of optimism into 2017 remains unclear … If this optimism comes to fruition, it should translate into stronger income growth and increased job security for consumers – the two HPSI components that could help support housing sentiment this year.” More here.